Workshop with Prof. Dave Beech and Prof. Mick Wilson at Bard College campus Berlin, students from Art & Politics course, from Bard CCS, and from De Appel Curatorial Programme 2018.
Photo: Workshop with Prof. Dave Beech and Prof. Mick Wilson at Bard College campus Berlin, students from Art & Politics course, from Bard CCS, and from De Appel Curatorial Programme 2018. Photo: Kjell Caminha.

Introduction to Contemporary Arts and Politics

Bachelor’s level
15 credits (ECTS)
Study pace
Mixed time
Location independent
Study form
Application open
Application code
Full education cost: 71 250 SEK
First payment: 71 250 SEK

No fees are charged for EU and EEA citizens, Swedish residence permit holders and exchange students.

More information about tuition fees

Application closed


A distance course introducing key political themes and questions in contemporary art practices, theories and institutions. The 2022 course is delivered with particular focus on this year’s documenta fifteen (Kassel, Germany) and the animating idea of “lumbung”, curatorial research, the question of exhibition and claims upon the political imaginary and the political economy of contemporary art. Contributors include: Nkule Mabaso, Thiago de Paula Souza, Mick Wilson and invited guests.


There is a long tradition of interaction between questions of politics and questions of art. However, arguably in the last decade this dialogue between art and politics has intensified, leading to a fundamental interrogation: What is at stake now in the different intersections of art and the political? How are the terms ‘politics’ and ‘the political’ articulated within contemporary art? What, if any, are the specific political affordances of the contemporary art field?

These questions have acquired ever greater urgency in the wider political context of ascendant national populisms and renewals of white supremacism(s); mass displacement and anti-migrant mobilizations; the failure of governance structures to respond effectively to climate change, ecological collapse and pandemic; the illiberal populist appeal to strategies of ‘culture war’; and changing formations of political mobilization from the Arab ‘spring’ to renewed indigenous resistance movements; from Extinction Rebellion to Black Lives Matter; from Rhodes-Must-Fall to #MeToo; from Anonymous to Qanon. Through taking this course you will have an opportunity to build your own map of the multiple intersections of contemporary art and the political.

We will also explore together how the intersections of contemporary art and the political are re-constellated by recent changes in the wider political field and the recalibration of the international relations after the latest waves of globalization. 


There are 22 online lecture, seminar and workshop events. The online presentation and seminar sessions are scheduled between 3 pm - 6pm CET (break between 4.15-4.30 pm) on the following days:

June (7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22) July (4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27)August (22, 23)

You will require reliable internet access and headphones with mic. Presentations will typically be recorded and posted online for students to access during the course. Participation in the course means that your contributions to discussion in response to the formal presentations may be recorded for this purpose.

The formal presentations can be attended live and also accessed via recordings published online, at whatever time suits your personal timetable needs. However, it is strongly recommended that you attend the ‘live’ online discussion sessions, as these will not always be recorded and these offer the best opportunity to interact with the other participants on the course

Further information

The updated reading lists for this year’s course will be published in Canvas in April 2023. 

Apply in three steps

1. Apply for the course at Deadline March 15, 2023. 

2. Submit your letter of intent in SlideRoom. Deadline March 22, 2023. 

3. Submit documentation proving you meet the entry requirements of the course on Deadline March 30, 2023.

Your letter of intent must include: 
1. A short description in English stating why you wish to attend the course (max 3500 characters including spaces). 
Your application must be anonymous. Do not include name or contact details anywhere in this material. All texts must be in English. 

Prerequisites and selection


General entrance requirements


The selection is based on a submitted Letter of Intent.