What to Expect
Art in the Contemporary World is a taught masters programme that examines contemporary art practices and their contexts. The course offers an opportunity for focused engagement with the varied challenges presented by today's most ambitious art. It bridges the relationship between theory and practice by creating exciting study options for artists, curators, writers and other practitioners. We welcome graduates from a variety of backgrounds, including: fine art; art history; philosophy; literature; film studies; architecture; communications; or design; and we are also happy to consider applications from students from other backgrounds.
There are 2 pathways available: (i) a 'theory only' MA (1 year FT/ 2 year PT); (ii) a longer theory/ practice MFA. All students take the theory modules in their first period of study. MA students complete a major research topic (typically a written thesis) by the end of the year; MFA students undertake a further 2 semesters of practice. A key feature of the MFA is that practice is understood in an expanded sense to include not only studio practices (represented by NCAD studio expertise) but also practices facilitated by Visual Culture staff including: curating; critical and creative writing; event organization.
Course content for the Visual Culture theory modules is divided into four thematic strands: (i) 'Practices' explores the range of current international art practices; (ii) 'Situations' is comprised of elective options addressing social and cultural contexts for art practice today or occasions of interdisciplinary crossover with other fields; (iii) 'Theories' is a series of seminars focusing on key theoretical approaches relevant to contemporary art; (iv) 'Writing' explores different models and strategies for writing on art.
Opportunities to Engage
Art in the Contemporary World regularly collaborates with key cultural institutions in Ireland, running courses and events with the Irish Museum of Modern Art; Goethe Institut; Irish Film Institute; Dublin City Gallery; Kerlin Gallery; Paper Visual Art (journal). Art in the Contemporary World functions as a forum for debate on contemporary art theory and practice, regularly hosting public events involving course participants. In recent years guests at such events have included: Massimiliano Gioni, curator of the Venice Biennale, 2013, and Director of Exhibitions at the New Museum, New York; Katrina Brown, former director of the Glasgow International Festival of Contemporary Art; Frieze magazine senior editor Dan Fox; comedian Stewart Lee; film-maker Kenneth Anger; writer Rebecca Solnit; art critic Irving Sandler; and artists Lynda Benglis, Liam Gillick, Susan Philipsz and Walid Raad.