Academic year
2022/2023 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
LM6520 (AF:398467 AR:208600)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
1st Term
Course year
Go to Moodle page
The course - which is organized in two units (Cinema and Photography I-II) complementary to each other - is part of the historical-artistic teachings that characterize the Master’s Degree in Economics and Management of Arts and Cultural Activities (EGArt). It therefore intends to provide students with the knowledge and comprehension of the main lines of (historical, theoretical, aesthetic, social, technical) development of photography in a constant comparison with contemporary visual arts, film and image theories. Particular attention will be given to those exhibitions which, between the 19th and 21st centuries, were fundamental in defining the history and identity of photography as a medium of contemporaneity, and therefore an essential form of knowledge
Excellent knowledge and understanding of the contemporary status and theory of images, as well as of the crucial relationship between photography and other visual arts and idioms. Students are expected to acquire adequate theoretical skills through a methodology, which, even in view of their future professional needs, begins with a careful interpretation of texts and images. This will help them understand the subject of study and build their own thought and critical judgment. Interaction and active participation during classes will be encouraged as much as possible to increase students’ cognitive abilities and both help them exercise expressive-communicative skills and develop specific terminological competence in a constant exchange with the professor and fellow students.
Good knowledge of the history of contemporary art, as well as of the major historical events and main movements of thought between the 19th and the 21st centuries.
Divided into two units (Cinema and Photography I-II) that follow a complementary and common historical-critical path, the course analyzes the relationship between photography, film and other visual languages; between new media and contemporary society; between the documentary and artistic experimentation. It also investigates the changes that have occurred in the making, circulation and reception of photography and film with the digital turn – as well as the methods and meanings of collecting, archiving, and exhibiting images in the media ecosystem. More specifically, the course traces the history and theory of photography through some of the exhibitions that between the 19th and 21st centuries marked turning points in the way images have been exposed and looked at, thus understood. Photography first had to compete with painting and gain its own space and identity, starting from its first appearances in the London Great Exhibitions and in the Parisian Salons. Subsequently, with the American Photo-Secession and the European Avant-Gardes of the 20th century, photography experienced a highly experimental moment, which led it to be recognized and presented no longer only as an optical-scientific means, but as an artistic language with its own specific mediality. In the transition from Postmodernism to the Digital Era, photography has undergone a radical renewal and has “reinvented” itself as the main medium of contemporaneity, welcoming other media in itself (one refers then to multimediality, intermediality, transmediality, remediation, relocation, migration...). As a consequence, even the ways in which photography is shown and experienced have been changing, according to different supports, devices, contexts, gazes.
For attending and non-attending students:

1. David Bate, Photography: The Key Concepts. Second Edition, Bloomsbury, New York-London, 2016.
2. Alessandra Mauro (ed.), Photoshow: Landmark Exhibitions that Defined the History of Photography, trans. by R. Taylor, Thames & Hudson, London, 2014.

Non-attending students and those who skip more than 30% of the lessons will prepare, in addition to the programme indicated above, one of the following books of their choice:

- Rosalind Krauss, Le Photographique. Pour une théorie des écarts, Macula, Paris, 1990.
- Charlotte Cotton, The Photograph as Contemporary Art, Thames & Hudson, London, 2020 (1st ed. 2004).
- Nicholas Mirzoeff, How to See the World, Pelican Books, London, 2015.

NB: It is advisable to contact the professor for specific requests or particular language needs concerning the bibliography for the exam.
The exam will consist only in an oral test, both for attending and non-attending students, with questions related to the bibliography mentioned above and the topics covered during the course. In addition to the understanding of the main theoretical ideas, the professor will test the students’ ability to recognize and discuss photographs and other images shown in class or reproduced in the reference essays, as well as their ability to develop an independent critical thought and create parallels between the topics. During the third week of lessons, attending students must agree on an exhibition project with the professor - to be carried out individually or in small groups of maximum 3-4 people - which has to take into consideration each different aspect: choice of format and topics, selection and loan of photographs/artworks, installation, budget or financing plan/fundraising, catalog and communication. The project will then be presented (in Power Point or in another similar format suitable for presentation) and discussed, together with the professor and classmates, during the oral exam. The project will contribute for the 30% to the overall evaluation of the exam. NB: In the case of projects carried out in groups, students should register for the exam in the same session, so as to permit a correct evaluation of each one's work in the group. Remind also that the grades of the partial exam (part I) will remain valid for 4 consecutive exams; that is, within the same academic year. If students do not achieve the grade of the second exam (part II), they will have to retake the entire exam (part I-II).
The interpretative reading of theoretical texts and of images will be carried out in class as methodological exercise to facilitate learning. Some of the theoretical texts not included in the bibliography but discussed by the professor, as well as the images that will be projected as slides, will be available for students during the course on the online platform Moodle (for copyright reasons images and texts cannot be made available in any other way). Any possible visits to exhibitions and lectures by other professors or experts in the field will be an integral part of the course – more information will be provided during classes.
Class attendance is recommended to all students and is required to those who wish to apply for a thesis in History of Photography, especially in relation to contemporary art and to visual production and culture. Those who skip more than 30% of the lessons will be considered non-attending students and to prepare the exam will have to add one of the books of the suggested bibliography.

Ca’ Foscari follows the Italian law (Law 17/1999; Law 170/2010) for the support and accommodation services available to students with disabilities or specific learning disabilities. If you have either a motor, visual, hearing or another disability (Law 17/1999), or a specific learning disorder (Law 170/2010) and you require support (classroom assistance, technological aids for carrying out exams or personalized exams, accessible format material, note retrieval, specialist tutoring as study support, interpreters or other), please contact the Disability and DSA office

This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Poverty and inequalities" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development

Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 11/07/2022