American Studies HKU School of Modern Languages and Cultures HKU

BA Course

Elective Course
AMER2066 Art and crime
6 credits
Art and crime (Art + Crime) is a gripping intersection. It overlaps with but also remains distinct from art crime. This class will consider key issues in art and crime such as: the valuing mechanisms of the art market, financial regulation, cultural property and repatriation, art heists, speculative crime, looting and illicit trade, true crime, forensic architecture, vandalism, and the world of counterfeits and forgeries. We will discuss the events surrounding The Gardner Museum heist (1990) and its afterlife in various narratives (Hacking the Heist, Empty Frames) and artworks (Sophie Calle, Last Seen…), and creative projects by Janice Kerbel, Barton Lidice Beneš, J.S.G. Boggs, Tom Sachs, Maurizio Cattelan, Dennis Oppenheim, Ulay, Richard Prince, Ann Messner, Ricardo Dominguez, Kathryn Clark, Núria Güell and Levi Orta, Robert Rauschenberg, Banksy, and Gordon Parks, among others. We will analyze how art is caught up in criminal activities as well as how it re-enacts, visualizes, and/or participates in such activities. In other words, this class considers not only art crime, but also those artworks for which crime is subject, content, and/or medium of expression.
Prerequisite: Nil
Assessment: 100% coursework
(Offered in 2021/2022, 1st semester)


American Studies HKU