Week 01 Journal – “Why you don’t like Art History” Response

I favour Art History more than what I initially had thought.

From what I can remember, it starts off about the relatable factor of Art History being presented; in dark classrooms, flat images on screen, names and dates, and movements and napping; presented the world’s history in a linear and non-interactive manner and a challenge to remember.

I definitely remember the narrator in the video mentioning the series called “Civilizations” – that I feel like watching, and she describes it as a ‘wide view’ of the start of human creativity and development in other parts of the world. It is then compared to the 1969 air of ‘Civilization’, presented by an Art Historian, Kenneth Clark. It is Eurocentric personal account and it is biased by his words of ‘The great works of western man.’ Though it was popular series, this influences the people who watch it that whatever that isn’t of that standard set by Kenneth Clark, it would be considered ‘Barbaric’ thus, the narrator says it was ‘problematic’.

But in ‘Civilizations’, history is explained from the start of the first “mark” of man in caves and up today from around the world; giving a bigger and open perspective of the variety of civilizations in the world and not just the European-centric ones.

Thus, this means that cultures from around the world influence each other and it is not just a spread and out from Europe. It was many cultures contributing to each other’s influences to evolve and exchange ideas; and I quote ‘the tides are flowing both ways’ and thus ‘ weaving a much more complicated tale’.

The video basically insinuates that global art history to be more inclusive and that it covers more aspects to look at of human culture. Thus, art isn’t a single timeline that the advancement of progress is linear. Therefore, art history is more of a ‘chaotic, asynchronous story of art that allows diversity, difference and change’.

Thus, I think it makes Art History interesting as it is complicated and chaotic because it is many cultures and art overlapping each other. So being able to identify that from the past years of Art History seems more enjoyable to have those connections and engaging. Though, remembering the long names and dates, and movements is still a challenge.

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Zerline Jade

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