Thry: Land Without Bread

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Full title: "Land Without Bread and Other Problems" This course takes as its starting point Luis Bunuel's 1933 film Las Hurdes: Tierra Sin Pan (also known as Land Without Bread). Offering an initial case study, the film compels critical questions about the role of journalism and the documentary form as well as the limits and potential of various artistic concerns vis-a-vis social groups including representation, intention, discourse, and presentation. In a larger sense, the film also interrogates the relationship between art and politics, specifically regarding art's engagements (or lack thereof) with afflictions of the social body such as poverty among other ills. Bunuel's strategies will provide a means for discussing and problematizing art works posing and grappling with social questions and issues since the 1930s, and inspire a collaborative methodology for evaluating contemporary works and projects. Discussions of the film and other works along with assigned readings and studio critiques will form the core activities of the course. The aim is to develop a a rigorous, critical language for discussing the relationship between art and social groups, and furthermore, to make work that incorporates and departs from this language.