HKUK0361IU CANCELLED Visual Culture/Arthistory/Litterature/Modern Culture: Avant-garde: Theory and Praxis after 1945

Volume 2016/2017

The course will address topics which are relevant both to interdisciplinary and international avant-garde studies and creative practices by offering the opportunity for both essential and advanced readings and reinterpretations of the avant-garde artistic movements after 1945.

The major case-focus will be laid on the Korea-born, in Japan and Germany trained and USA-based while globally acting artist Nam June Paik (1932-2006) who embodied in a unique, yet exemplary way qualities of internationality, interdisciplinarity, intermediality, and interculturality – all of them anchored in the culture-techniques of the game and in the philosophy of chance.

Discussed will be, among others, the analytical tools for approaching of selected, ground-breaking conceptual, performative and audiovisual as well as installative artworks that have shaped and still shape the avant-gardist practices. Not least, the latters´ historical roots in the original Avant-garde-movements of the 20th Century before 1945 will be used both to provide factual fundaments and possible mutual patterns for the contextualization and actualization of the theory and creative praxis of Avant-garde.

Course objectives include (1) providing of methodological skills for recognizing the theoretical, practical and analytical tools of the postwar Avant-garde with special focus on Neo-Dada (Nouveau Realistes, Gutai, Proto-Pop, Zero, Fluxus) and related discourses, (2) providing an orientation into the wide range of the re-usage and re-staging of the conceptual, cultural and medial tools innate to recent Avant-garde practices, and (3) discussing the development of academic conventions and institutionalizations of the Avant-garde with reference to the most prominent representatives and intriguing examples from the recent art history (Neo-Avant-garde, Post-Avant-garde, Retro-Avant-garde, ‘Transavanguardia’ etc.).

Awaited is an active participation in discussions, group works, and shorter written exercises, which together lead to the required individual, independently conceived and written paper.

Klaus Bußmann / Florian Matzner (eds.) Nam June Paik. A Data Base (Exhib.-cat.). Ostfildern-Ruit 1993

Thomas Kellein / Toni Stooss, Nam June Paik: Video Time, Video Space. New York 1993

Edith Decker-Phillips, Paik Video (Diss.). Cologne 1988 & New York 1998

John G. Hanhardt, The Worlds of Nam June Paik (Exhib.-cat. Whitney Museum of American Art). New York 1999

Wulf Herzogenrath (ed.), Nam June Paik. Fluxus. Video. (Exhib.-cat. Kunsthalle Bremen). Bremen 1999 (mit umfangreicher Paik-Bibliographie)

Nam June Paik - Global Groove 2004. (Exhib.-cat. Guggenheim Berlin). Berlin 2004

Wulf Herzogenrath / Andreas Kreul, Nam June Paik. There is no rewind button for life. Cologne 2007


An introductory reader with more general, theoretical and historical texts on Neo-Dada and Avant-garde after 1945 and their respective contextualizations will be provided before the course-start.

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Exam
  • 80
  • Guidance
  • 1
  • Lectures
  • 36
  • Preparation
  • 303
  • Total
  • 420
Type of assessment