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2022/23 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

ARTF5051M Intersecting Practices: Questioning the Intersection of Contemporary Art and Heritage

30 creditsClass Size: 15

Module manager: Dr Nick Cass

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

Artist's 'interventions' in museums and heritage spaces are a significant form of interpretive practice in the contemporary visitor 'offer' at many museums and heritage sites. However, the role of artists within heritage interpretation needs critical attention to understand the benefits and challenges implicit within this practice. This module challenges the notion of the 'stable' heritage site, and 'temporary' intervention to enable students to understand the complexity which exists at the intersection of contemporary art and heritage, particularly in relation to interpretive methodologies and visitor experience.In this module, students will be introduced to a number of case studies and 'cause celebre' interventions which have challenged the 'stable' interpretive framework of the heritage site, and provoked a range of reactions from visitors.Through an examination of significant national UK organizations such as the National Trust, international case studies and the work of a range of contemporary artists, students will critically engage with artworks and sites in order to develop a commissioning 'artist's brief' applicable to a selected heritage site.


This module will:
- Enable students to critically examine the recent development and current practice of contemporary art interventions in heritage spaces.
- Introduce students a range of case studies, both UK and internationally.
- Encourage students to examine ways in which this practice both supports and challenges the conceptual underpinning of heritage sites.
- To provide opportunities for students to explore the creative practice of artists who are engaged with heritage interpretation.

Learning outcomes
Students should be able to:
1. Demonstrate an understanding of the current policy and practice of employing artists within heritage sites.
2. Demonstrate an understanding of the historical context of the relationship between artists, museums and heritage.
3. Demonstrate an understanding of how artistic practice can inform heritage interpretation.
4. Demonstrate an understanding of the complexity of, sometimes contentious, issues which emerge from this practice.
5. Demonstrate an understanding of the brief writing process for a contemporary art commission at a heritage site.


Students will be introduced to a range of case studies of artists' interventions in the context of a longer history of 'institutional critique'. A site visit to a nearby example of contemporary art commissiong for heritage will be made where possible. Also, visiting speakers may be brought in to introduce students to the professional requirements of writing an artist's brief.

Throughout this module students will be working towards selecting an appropriate heritage site and developing a creative 'brief' for an artist. The latter part of the module will be dedicated to supporting students in analysing the potential of their selected heritage site for an artist’s commissions and making an artist shortlist, in order to develop a final brief. In doing so, students will be also be considering the ways in which the interpretation of contemporary art in heritage contexts is itself a complex task.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours264.00
Total Contact hours36.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

Independent learning will take place in a number of ways:
Students will be expected to spend time travelling to and exploring a range of heritage sites and artists’ work in order to develop a contextual understanding of intervention practice (20 hours). This will support the requirement for them to develop their own brief.
Students will read range of key texts (60 hours).
Preparation for seminars (10 hours).
Other reflective learning techniques, reviewing notes etc (10 hours).
Preparing for and writing assignments (164 hours).

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Formative feedback will be given:
- Verbally during participatory seminars.
- In writing on interim exhibition analysis.
- Verbally after presentation of artists brief.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2000 words Exhibition Analysis20.00
Essay3000 word contextual essay50.00
Presentation10 minute presentation outlining the rationale for their heritage site and artist shortlist0.00
Written Work1000-1500 word written Artist's brief30.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

All assessed components, including the presentation must be passed in order to pass the module. The Artist's Brief is to be supplemented with brief details of the artist shortlist.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2022 15:22:38


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