mirada art 01 brHow to interpret a work of art today?

Friday 16th February and Friday 23rd February, Friday 1st March and Friday 8th March 2024
From 5.30 p.m. to 7.30 p.m.
At ACVIC Centre d’Arts Contemporànies (Sant Francesc, 1, Vic)

A workshop addressing the issues and tensions that are currently emerging regarding the study and interpretation of the arts. Can the artwork be separated from the artist? What do we talk about when we talk about Contemporary Art? Is it correct to read a prehistoric artwork from a contemporary perspective? These questions will structure the four sessions of the workshop, as well as an approach to the various ways of looking at, and interpreting an artistic practice from the present.

The workshop aims:

• to offer critical tools for understanding the historical and contemporary view of art; to understand how our way of dialoguing with an artwork is influenced by a context, and how all artworks come from a moment, an artist, and an era.

• to learn about unconventional works of art, often located on the cultural margins, and to understand them as pieces worthy of evaluate in aesthetic, symbolic and contextual terms.

• to encourage reflection upon issues and tensions arising inside and outside the contemporary world, such as the possible separation of work and artist, or why contemporary art generates so much resistance from the general public.




1. Historical revisionism; What is it? What issues and what questions does it raise?
In this first session, students will learn about the critical study of the historical approach. They will learn about the myth of the unique history of art (Western and male), and of the figure of the genius. We will ask ourselves what consequences the separation of the work from its artist can have, and we will propose methodological alternatives to apply other views in the classroom.

2. We are not spectators. The power of interpretation.
This session will adopt a formal and symbolic approach to the analysis of an artwork. Students will learn what iconography is and when it arose, and what it can do for us when interpreting an artwork. We will also focus on how our gaze is influenced by the context of the time in which we live, and how this way of dialoguing with works of art comments upon our way of living and thinking.

3. What is Contemporary Art? Is all art today contemporary?
Contemporary artistic practices suggest a break with the canon established centuries ago. It is for this reason that it can generate resistance from the general public, but why does it generate so much rejection? An understanding of the contemporary artistic languages and of the themes addressed by today’s artists, will be necessary in order to understand what the current tensions may be towards contemporary art.

4. New views; Gender, de-colonialism and queer perspective.
At the end of the 20th century, studies in the history of art took an important turn. From the study of gender/sex/race/class intersectionality, and how these identity traits have influenced artistic creation, researchers realise that there is "another history of art" that has been relegated to the margins of culture. In this final session, we will look at what is being done today to reverse the history of traditional art and turn it into a fairer, more inclusive, and more rigorous discipline.

Judith Méndez is a teacher, cultural mediator and exhibition coordinator. Currently works for the Temporals contemporary art project at the Institut de Cultura de Barcelona, teaches with the international programme "Art, Globalisation and Barcelona" at the CETT-UB, and leads the dissemination project in a gender perspective "Ni Mona Ni Lisa", offering new views of art history through lectures, guided tours and workshops.

You are here: Home Art and school LEARN TO LOOK