SLL40800 Body & Matter: 21C Spanish Art

Academic Year 2023/2024

'Matter is everywhere. As human beings, we are composed of matter and we are surrounded by
technological and natural materialities. Matter is also the raw material in visual and performance
art, it can give shape and form to ideological, political, social and cultural systems. Likewise,
images, art objects and performances have the potential to subvert structures of power. This
module looks at selection of individual and collaborative artworks by a range of contemporary
Spanish artists through focus on living and non-living matter. It draws on a corpus of
cross-disciplinary theories which have emerged at the crossroads of feminism, cultural theory,
science and philosophy and have displaced the centrality of the (male) subject and challenged the
hegemony of binary relations. Analysis of the agency and complexity of material interactions
enables the exploration of the political and affective scope of Spanish contemporary image
making and performance and how these are experienced by the viewer. The module critically
engages with a variety of art forms, including photography, documentary film, video art,
installation, performance and dance.'

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete this module will:

• Have become familiar with key theoretical approaches to materiality and the body for cultural,
social and political analysis.
• Have developed a firm understanding of the diversity and interdisciplinary quality of
contemporary artistic production in Spain.
• Have the capacity to situate critically Spanish cultural production in relation to the most topical
issues shaping contemporary Spain, including sexual politics; migration; memory politics;
cultural heritage and ecology.
• Have the ability to conduct in-depth context-sensitive and theory-informed critical analysis of
contemporary visual and performance art.'

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning


Seminar (or Webinar)




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Not yet recorded 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Assignment: Review Susana Solano’s sculpture Carmen (2011) situated in the grounds of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, either as a written piece (1,500 words), podcast (5-7 mins), or video (5-7 mins) Throughout the Trimester n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Essay: 3,500-word essay on one (or more) of the themes and artists studied, combining contextual research and critical engagement with scholarly literature with detailed analysis of primary sources Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No



Carry forward of passed components
Not yet recorded
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Advice on assessment tasks will be available in advance and individual feedback will be available post-assessment

Name Role
Dr Eva Bru-Dominguez Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Tara Plunkett Lecturer / Co-Lecturer