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So you don’t “get” contemporary art? The Whitney has a course for that



Zelda Caldwell - published on 05/10/17

A "Crash Course on Contemporary Art" might deepen your appreciation of cutting edge art.

The Whitney Museum in New York City is offering a “Crash Course on Contemporary Art,” a series of two-hour lectures given by experts on the work of contemporary artists featured at the Whitney’s 2017 Biennial exhibition.

Whether you are truly interested in deepening your appreciation of modern art, or you want to impress people at certain dinner parties, these two-hour classes promise to get you up to speed on cutting edge art.

This Saturday’s course, the second of three, is on “Photography and the Moving Image,” and will be taught by Soyoung Yoon, a professor at The New School. The following week’s class on painting has already sold out.

One exhibit you could expect to be featured is by artist Oto Gillen, who over a year and a half took a series of photographs in New York City, which, according to the New York Times, “document[s] the denizens of our sanctuary city’s public spaces — homeless people, food vendors, police officers, bike messengers — presenting a combination of striving and defeat (and surveillance).”

It’s not clear from the course description whether the exhibition’s virtual-reality installation “Real Violence” by the artist Jordan Wolfson will be covered in the class.

View this post on Instagram

Jordan Wolfson "Real violence" Through virtual reality headsets and headphones watched a person abusing another person on the street (in a most disturbing way…) with a chant of Chanukah blessings in the background… 見てられなかった… 具合悪くなる人もいるそうなので覚悟してみて下さい。

A post shared by Yoko N. (@alohalani1030) on

But be forewarned, it’s a 2 minute and 25 second-video of man bashing another man in the skull with a baseball bat. Thankfully, in spite of the title, it’s not actually real (fake blood!)—it’s art.

Perhaps you’ll understand the importance of that distinction better if you take the course.

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