Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ekphrasis Syllabus

Text Box: H: Imaginary Artist preliminary exploration.  (We did an in-class writing) 
Here’s the prompt:
Text Box:
What time frame will your artist occupy—when did, does or will s/he live?  What is his/her birth order, number of siblings?  What does your artist cherish? Despise? Wish? Read? Eat? Own? Laugh at? Create?  What is your artist’s genre and why? What first drew him/her to this medium? What is your artist’s greatest shame? What makes him/her proud?  What was his/her best birthday and why? Worst?  Who are your artist’s influences professionally?  Who is his/her closest friend?
Write these things up and type them into a file for notes towards later assignments, including a Wikipedia page for your artist.  Homework: Type these notes in and come to class with a postcard of your own design, unrelated to your artist. (It is a different assignment.  B

Week Three: 
January 28-February 2
T:  Discussion of examples of ekphrasis as they relate to the Patrrick Hunt essay (Ekphrasis or Not?)

H: Postcard Assignment MAKE SURE YOU COME TO CLASS WITH THE POSTCARD. If you are unclear as to the assignment, clear that up with me BEFORE class. If you missed class, you are still expected to follow the blog.  You will be working with these postcards in class, so you must have them with you and available AT THE BEGINNING OF CLASS.  Homework: A Wikipedia page of your imaginary artist. I would like for us to find a venue in which to post these.  We’ll discuss it in class.

Homework 2:  Read ALL pages 15-17 (the foreword) as well as  21-57 in your Art and Artists book. Where possible you are responsible for locating each piece of art to which they refer.  Be prepared to discuss these in class as well as  consider them preparation for an ode to be written about your imaginary artist and due a week from today. (Thursday February 7.) This ode can be written by an imaginary writer or modeled off the writings of someone famous. Treat  your imaginary artist as if s/he occupies a specific space and time and work out who is writing about him/her from that premise.

Week Four
February 4-8
T:  Discussion of the foreword and the ode. What does this mode of ekphrasis do or do differently from others? How heavily do they rely on the source art?  How effective are your favorites or least of these? 
Homework: Odes to your Imaginary Artist

H: Continued discussion of the odes from your books. Turn in your odes on Thursday of next week along with your artist's Wikipedia page. (I'll gather them from you as you arrive at the Valentine's event.) 
Homework: Read five poems of your choice from EACH of the next two sections in your Poets and Painters book (Example: select five poems from the section called The Paintings 61-102 and five poems from The Portrait Gallery 105-123). Come to class prepared to discuss the ways that these poems come at the ekphrastic impulse differently and which ones you found most effective.

Week Five
February 11-15
T Discussion of book pieces.
Homework:  Consider your imaginary artist’s body of work and write a 200 word review of a piece or a show. IF your artist is not famous or showing work, consider something less formal like a note from another artist or a self-critique in the fashion of Van Gogh’s letters to his brother.  We won’t deal with these until a week from today, so you have time.

H  BRING YOUR ODES & WIKIPEDIA PAGE. Valentines on Demand. We’ll work from the Crane Center.  The starving artist area. More details to follow.
Homework: Select  two poems from each of the sections up to Photography and be ready to discuss how they work and what you liked or disliked about them. You can choose something for how much you admire it or how flawed you find it. Either can be an interesting conversation.  ( 2 EACH from Sculpture Garden, Artistry, Architecture, Photography.)    For next week, look over the work of Joseph Cornell
and make sure you read this review of Charles Simic’s book of poems based on the boxes (Dimestore Alchemy)

Consider how his boxes operate in terms of ekphrastic properties, as well as how they tell or hold story. Considering that work, begin gathering small objects that will be meaningful to your artist.  What would a Cornell box as a shrine to your imaginary artist look like? Start scouring the world for things that would hold significance to him/her.

Week Six
February 18-22
T   Simic Discussion. Imaginary Artist Shrine Assignment announced. Due

H: Discussion of your reviews in class (see last Tuesday for homework details for this assignment.)  Homework: Selected pieces from the final three sections of the book.

Week Seven
February 25-March 1

Week Eight
March 4-March 8
T  Homework:  Read:
The Red Shoes by Hans Christian Andersen
H: Start film The Red Shoes

Week Nine: 
March 11-March 15
T Complete Red Shoes, Discuss fairytale and film.
H Poetry Pharmacy

Week Ten: 
March 18-March 22

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