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Syllabus for BASQ 466, 666:
Museums, Architecture, City Renewal: The Bilbao Guggenheim — Part 2

Course Syllabus continued...

Week Eight
Gehry’s Apotheosis

Rafael Moneo, “Reflecting on Two Concert Halls” (Walter Gropius Lecture, April 25, 1990. Harvard University, Graduate School of Design).

Barry Came, “Spain’s New Wonder of the World,” McLean’s, Nov. 1997.

Cathleen McGuigan, “Basque-ing in Glory,” Newsweek, January 13, 1997.

Calvin Tomkins, “The Maverick,” The New Yorker, July 7, 1997.

Allan Schwartzman, “Art vs. Architecture,” Architecture, Dec. 1997, pp. 56-59.

Interviews with Gehry

The discussion will be geared to placing Gehry’s architecture within and beyond the modernist/postmodernist paradigms, and to assessing the significance of Gehry’s architecture and the uniqueness of the Bilbao Guggenheim building. We will examine Gehry’s creative process in designing his buildings, and how the building has affected Bilbao’s city environment.

Week Nine

“Seduction, that’s my business.”

Suzanne Andrews, “Self-Confidence Man,” New York, May 9, 1994.

Thomas Krens, “Museums and History: The Dynamics of Culture in a Postmodern Era.” In The Guggenheim Museum Salzburg. A Project by Hans Hollein. The Salomon Guggenheim Foundation, Salzburg, 1990, pp.53-61.

Shoshana Felman, “The Perversion of Promising: Don Juan and Literary Performance.” In S. Felman, The Literary Speech Act Cornell University Press, 1983:25-58.

Jean Braudillard, Seduction. St. Martin’s Press, 1990.

Week Ten
What is a Museum?

Duncan Cameron, “The Museum: A Temple or the Forum,” Journal of World History, 14(1):191-202.

Ivan Karp “Culture and Representation.” In I. Karp and S. Lavine, Exhibiting Cultures: The Poetics and Politics of Museum Display, Smithsonian Institution, 1991, pp.11-24.

Daniel Sherman, “Quatremère/Benjamin/Marx: Art Museums, Aura, and Commodity Fetishism.” In D. Sherman and I. Rogoff, Museum Culture: Histories, Discourses, Spectacles, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1994.

“The Getty Center and the Bilbao Guggenheim Museum”

Victoria Newhouse, Towards a New Museum (Monacelli Press, 1998).

How do we define a museum and what are its roles; its various historical analogies; its relationship with the rest of the culture as representation; the significance of museums in postmodern thinking; the historical novelty of the Bilbao Guggenheim Museum.

Week Eleven
McGuggenheimization, Las Vegasing and the Benetton Effect

George Ritzer, “The McDonaldization of Society” (Chapter 1 of his The McDonaldization of Society, Pine Forge Press, Thousand Oaks, 1993).

Donald McNeill, “McGuggenisation? National Identity and Globalization in the Basque Country,” Political Geography 19:473-494.

Henry A. Giroux, “Consuming Social Change: The United Colors of Benetton.” In H. Giroux, Disturbing Pleasures: Learning Popular Culture, Routledge, New York, 1994.

Hilton Kramer, “Dispersing a Museum Collection,” The New Criterion, September 1992.

Las Vegas

A crucial lesson taught by the Bilbao Guggenheim is the impact of the historical globalizing forces on the institution of the museum. Relevant to this is the franchise aspect of the Bilbao Guggenheim. This will lead us to examining the McDonalds institutional model as applied to the museum, to a critical understanding of such historical transformations and to the relationship between contemporary museums and promotional culture.

Week Twelve
The Culture of Tourism

Jennifer Craik, “The Culture of Tourism.” In C. Rojek and J. Urry, Touring Cultures: Transformations of Travel and Theory, Routledge, New York, 1997.

Nelson Graburn, “Tourism, Modernity and Nostalgia.” In A. Ahmed and C. Shore, The Future of Anthropology, Athlone, London, 1995.

Carol Becker, “The Romance of Nomadism: A Series of reflections,” Art Journal, Summer 1999.

Chris Rojek and John Ury, Touring Cultures, “Introduction,” and G. Ritzer and A. Liska, “‘McDisneization’ and ‘Post-Tourism’.”

Bilbao officials view their museum largely as a bait for touristic attraction. Economic considerations are paramount in tourism but there are significant cultural implications as well. Issues of authenticity, nostalgia, and postmodernism can be raised around the culture of tourism. The romance of nomadism is not free from cultural and political contradictions.

Week Thirteen
From Informational to Imaginary Cities: The Global Postmodern Space

David Lyon, “From Postindustrialism to Postmodernity.” In D. Lyon, Postmodernity, Univ. of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1994, pp. 37-53.

Brian Willis, “Selling Nations: International Exhibitions and Cultural Diplomacy”. In D. Sherman and I. Rogoff, Museum Culture, Minnesota Press, Minneappolis, 1994, pp.265-281.

Stuart Hall, “The Local and the Global: Globalization and Ethnicity.” In A. McClintock, A. Mufti and E. Shoat, Dangerous Liaisons, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1997, pp.173-187.

“The World Is Not Enough”

Manuel Castells and Peter Hall, “Chapter 1. Technopoles: Mines and Foundries of the Informational Economy”; and “Chapter 9. Distilling the Lessons.” In M. Castells and P. Hall, Technopoles of the World. Routledge, New York, 1994.

We will look at the the relationship of postmodernism to postindustrialism, informational economies and consumerism, as well as to the effects of the postmodern condition on issues of identity and politics. Some of the issues will be: the application of the political economy of local place/global space to Bilbao, the strategies of place-making and how they affect our view of culture, the construction of places through spatial practices, the politics of place and identity for the global selling of a city and Bilbao’s success in this regard.


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