Course Title: Critique cultural works

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2017

Course Code: OART5004C

Course Title: Critique cultural works

School: 340T Art

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5348 - Diploma of Visual Arts

Course Contact: Phillip Allan

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4030

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 50

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

In this course you will develop skills and knowledge required to research, analyse and debate cultural history and theory. You will be able to gain insight into historical art movements that will support and develop your own approach to creative work.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CUARES502 Critique cultural works


1. Select focus for cultural research

Performance Criteria:

1.1.Confirm type of cultural works to be appraised in consultation with relevant personnel 1.2. Identify requirements and constraints that may influence critiques and plan 1.3. Discuss plans or preliminary ideas with relevant personnel as required 1.4 identify and explore relevant sources of information on cultural works with respect for cultural protocols 1,5 Use formal and informal research techniques to access information 1.6 organise research materials and findings for current and future use, with awareness of intellectual property considerations


2. Conduct critical analysis

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Critically evaluate works and related information 2.2.Assess ways in which different influences are applied, adapted or challenged within cultural works 2.3.Develop substantiated positions to inform critical analysis of works 2.4. Discuss research findings with others and consider modifying opinions to integrate other perspectives


3. Discuss cultural history and theory

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Produce written or spoken texts on cultural works to meet organisational or publishing requirements 3.2 Take into account information about audience and purpose of critiques 3.3 Apply relevant cultural standards and conventions to critiques of cultural works 3.4.Present critiques in negotiated format and timeline 3.5.Seek feedback on quality of critiques from relevant personnel and note areas for future improvement


4. Develop own practice from research

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Identify and use opportunities to update and expand knowledge of influences on cultural works 4.2 Incorporate knowledge into cultural analysis and reporting

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Select an appropriate research focus
  • Analyse cultural ideas and information
  • Develop substantiated positions to support professional practice
  • Participate in informed discussion of cultural history and theory.

In this course you will develop the following program capabilities:

  • Recognise historical and theatrical contemporary cultural practices
  • Develop opinions and ideas about cultural history and theory.

Details of Learning Activities

In this course, the student learns through:


 group discussions

 teacher directed group activities/projects/exercises

 Independent research

Teaching Schedule




Class content

Task / Assessment due dates



Week 1


Introduction and explanation of essay brief.



Week 2


Manet- Bar at the Folies Bergère

This painting is used to examine the use of how different critical approaches can reveal different aspects of the same work



Week 3


Manet – Olympia

An examination of the various elements in this work are placed into social and political contexts as well as a discussion on the representation of the female nude



Week 4


The Heidelberg school

The creation of a myth and identity and the use of popular illustrations.



Week 5


Cezanne – Bathers

The examination of the development this series and placing it in the context of the representation of the 19 th century nude.



Week 6


Van Gogh – Sunflowers

An examination of this series in the context of the socio-psychological and religious contexts in regards to van Gogh



Week 7


Munch – The Scream

An examination of this series in the context of the socio-psychological and religious contexts in regards to



Week 8


Matisse and the decorative

An examination of Matisse’s work in the context of the decorative, ornamentation and the arabesque and its relation to French colonialism



Week 9


Picasso – Guernica

An examination war and its impact on art



Week 10


The influence of African art on Modern art.

An examination on African art on Modern art and its ties to colonialism



Week 11


Spiritual and philosophical beliefs in the art of early 20th century



Week 12


A short history of female artists



Week 13


Fascism and art

The use of art as a vehicle for the spread of political  ideology



Week 14


Collage and politics and social issues

The use of collage in Germany to confront and comment on the rise of Nazism.



Week 15


Berlin during the Weimar republic

The flourishing of culture and the contradictions in Weimar society

Hand in Essay


Week 16

Hollywood musicals and the depression.

How Hollywood Musicals embodied not only the art deco style but acted as a vehicle for hope and commentary on the Depression.



Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

library and online resources

Overview of Assessment

Assessment for this course is on going throughout the semester. Your will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program capabilities. Assessment will incorporate a range of methods to assess performance and the application of knowledge and skills and will include:

  • Written and or/oral questioning and discussion to assess knowledge and understanding

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.

An assessment charter ( ) summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers.
Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies and procedures which are described and referenced in a single document:;ID=ln1kd66y87rc

Assessment Tasks

To demonstrate competency in this course, you will need to complete the following pieces of assessment to a satisfactory standard. You will receive feedback on all assessment.


Assessment Task

Semester 1

Assessment:  An essay using one of these critical approaches to examine a chosen art work

1.Examine a chosen art work from at least 2 viewpoints (e.g. political, social, feminist, philosophical, psychological, etc)

2.Examine a chosen art work from the viewpoint of one idea (e.g. war, identity, pop cultural or ideas such as space, light, colour etc)

3.Examine a chosen art work from the point of view of its subject (e.g. the nude, still life, landscape, urban themes, etc)

The essay should be at least 1,000 words with bibliography and illustrations.

Assessment Matrix

Unit title

Create works of art for public spaces

RMIT Unit code


National code


Assessment tasks

Elements/ PCs

*Foundation Skills


*Performance Evidence


*Knowledge Evidence



1. Assessment title: Ready for Action – Task 1

Action – Task 2



1.1- 4

2.1- 3

3.1- 3

4.1- 4


- uses practical strategies to update knowledge and incorporate new information into own practice



- identifies and analyses complex information to identify relevant and key information that informs own practice own practice.



- Develops detailed, analystical commentary and reviews using structure, format and language suited to the context and the audience.

- records process improvement information for own use


Oral Communications

-.participates in presentation of complex information to others using language, tone and pace appropriate to the audience


- uses questioning and active listening techniques to identify job requirements, seek different perspectives about the selected approach and elicit feedback on performance.


Navigate the world of work

- adheres to legal and regulatory rights and responsibilities when using research material for own work purposes

- follows and organisational and external publishing requirements for presentation of work


Interact with others

- Identifies and uses appropriate communication methods and practices in discussion, consultation and negotiation with others with others.

- demonstrates sophisticated control of oral formats to convey detailed information, analysis and opinion to audiences


Get the work done

- Uses a systematic process to plan, organise and complete tasks for developing conceptual insights, expanding the knowledge base and developing critiques

-.Uses digital tools to locate and store research information and materials

Evidence of the ability to:

-.clarify research methods and information sources required for critique of specific cultural works


- use extensive research and analysis to develop informed positions for critical evaluation of cultural works


- use discussion with others to inform critique ideas and methodology


- produce written or spoken critiques for specific audiences according to plans, cultural standards and conventions and seek audience feedback



To complete the unit requirements, safely and effectively, the individual must:


-outline sources of information about history, theory and cultural practices relating to cultural works


-describe some typical requirements and constraints that may influence planning and completion of critiques


-explain formal and informal research techniques


-explain the cultural standards and conventions associated with producing critiques of cultural works


-outline how information can be organised so that it can be easily accessed and applied to own arts practice


-describe communication and presentation techniques for critiques


-list and describe a range of opportunities that could be used to update and extend knopwledge


Other Information

Other information



You will receive verbal and written feedback by teacher on your work.  This feedback also includes suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your projects.



RMIT has a strict policy on plagiarism. Please refer to the website for more information on this policy.


Special consideration Policy (Late Submission)

All assessment tasks are required to be completed to a satisfactory level. If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment by the due date, you will need to apply for an extension.

Please refer to the following URL for extensions and special consideration:;ID=qkssnx1c5r0y;STATUS=A;PAGE_AUTHOR=Andrea%20Syers;SECTION=1 (unresolved);

Reasonable adjustment

In assessing whether a particular adjustment is reasonable consideration should be given to:

·         the student’s disability and his/her views

·         the effect of the adjustment on the student, including effect on his/her ability to achieve learning outcomes, participate in courses or programs and achieve independence

·         the effect of the proposed adjustment on anyone else affected, including the education provider, staff and other students

·         the costs and benefits of making the adjustment.

As a result, what constitutes "reasonable" varies on a case-by-case basis and the balance is sometimes difficult to strike.  However, it is clear that education providers are not required to lower academic standards or disregard the needs staff or other students. In more complex cases discussion with the disability service will be useful. It may be useful to examine previous judgements in relation to the DDA.


An RTO needs to fit LLN into the delivery of its training and assessment as it has an important role in:

  • redressing any deficiencies in its students’ key LLN skills
  • building the generic skills of teamwork, communication and problem solving that are highly valued by employers.

Employability skills

In addition to developing skills and knowledge for a particular job, this program also aims to help you to develop broad work skills, known as Employability Skills. There are eight employability skills.

Employability Skills which feature in the Diploma of Visual Art include:

• Communication

• Teamwork

• Problem solving

• Initiative and enterprise

• Planning and organising

• Self-management      

• Learning

• Technology

Employability skills are embedded in the units of competency in your program. When you demonstrate that you are competent in your particular job skills and knowledge you are also demonstrating that you have developed relevant employability skills. Further information about the employability skills you will develop in this program is available at: chapter/EmpSkillsMandText

Course Overview: Access Course Overview