cod. 1010043

Academic year 2023/24
2° year of course - First semester
- Alessandra ACOCELLA
Academic discipline
Storia dell'arte contemporanea (L-ART/03)
Discipline storico-artistiche
Type of training activity
30 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Integrated course unit module: History of Contemporary Art (INTEGR. LM)

Learning objectives

According to Dublin Descriptors, the course intends to get:
- Knowledge and understanding:
The course aims at developing in students the ability in creating a framework of knowledge to understand the specificities of contemporary art and the related exhibition events.
Competences acquired in the first cycle will be strengthened and expanded allowing students to elaborate and apply original ideas.
- Applying knowledge and understanding:
Students will be provided with the tools to be applied to conduct independent and in depth studies on subjects different from those dealt with in class, but inherent to them. Comprehension and problem solving skills will be applied to new topics related to contemporary art history.
- Making Judgements:
The course aims at providing students with a knowledge of the subject and its investigative tools: they can acquire the capacity for judgment in independently dealing with the study of contemporary art, events, works and critical texts related to it. Students will be able to go into problems, to make their knowledge deeper, and to give personal judgements.
- Communication skills:

The course aims at providing students to be able to communicate information and ideas about art history with propriety of language. Students will be able to express their arguments clearly and the reasons for their conclusions, helped by their personal knowledge.
- Learning skills:

The course wants to provide students with a method, which will enable them to study and analyze contemporary art and exhibition history with the necessary critical skills. Thus they will be able to go on studying other topics related to their discipline in an independent and self directed way.


Good basic knowledge of contemporary art history.

Course unit content

The course is focused on the history of twentieth-century exhibitions, through the analysis of some relevant case studies concerning the experimentation of new models and exhibition formats. Particular attention will be paid to the artistic events realized starting from the Sixties in Italy and abroad, connected to interdisciplinary researches, environmental art, conceptual and performative art. The course examines the different levels of interpretation that are crucial to the understanding of the exhibition phenomenon as a whole: the curatorial concept, the process of selection and presentation of the art works, the typology of exhibition spaces (museums, private galleries, alternative spaces), the role of the promoters and the public, the critical reception.

Full programme

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In addition to the notes and the materials provided by the professor, students will have to study one book in the list below:

- A. Acocella, Avanguardia diffusa. Luoghi di sperimentazione artistica in Italia 1967-1970, Fondazione Passaré/Quodlibet, Milano/Macerata 2016.
- F. Martini, V. Martini, Just Another Exhibition Storie e politiche delle biennali Histories and politics of biennials, Postmedia, Milano 2011.
- A. Negri, L’arte in mostra. Una storia delle esposizioni, Bruno Mondadori, Milano, 2011.
- R. Pinto, Nuove geografie artistiche. Le mostre al tempo della globalizzazione, Postmedia, Milano 2012.
- A. Troncone, La smaterializzazione dell’arte in Italia 1967-1973, Postmedia, Milano 2014.

Non-attending students must bring two books from the list above to the examination.

Teaching methods

The course consists of lectures accompanied by discussion and seminar activities.
Students will also be asked to produce a scientific paper on a contemporary art exhibition to be agreed with the teacher.

Assessment methods and criteria

During the oral exam, the questions will evaluate the level of learning from students, according to Dublin Descriptors.
A fail is determined by the lack of an understanding of the minimum content of the course, the inability to express oneself at the level of proficiency expected of students, by a lack of autonomous preparation, the inability to solve problems related to information retrieval and the decoding of images and topics of art, as well as an inability to make independent judgments and communicate content, analysis and judgments in well-argumented,competent and convincing ways.
A pass (18-23/30) is determined by the demonstration on the part of the student of having learned the fundamental and minimum contents of the course, according to the indicators listed above. The Middle-range scores (24-27/30) are assigned to the student who produces evidence of a more than sufficient level (24-25/30) or good level (26-27/30) in the evaluation indicators, (from 28/30 to 30/30 cum laude) are awarded on the basis of the student’s demonstration of a very good or excellent level.

Other information

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