The Department of Art History, Visual Art & Theory
July 08, 2015
Exhibition runs July 8 to Nov 15, 2015
Photographs have played a crucial role in shaping perceptions of nuclear weapons and nuclear energy. Camera Atomica — guest-curated by writer, curator and art historian John O'Brian — is the first substantial exhibition of nuclear photography to encompass the entire postwar period from the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 to the triple meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi in 2011.
The election of President Ronald Reagan in 1980 accompanied an intensification of the Cold War, and artists and photographers responded in large numbers to the escalating risk of a nuclear confrontation. The politics of the Cold War also coincided with a cultural debate around photography and its claims to represent what is “true” or “real.” Much post-1980 nuclear photography reflects altered understandings of the limitations of photography and the dangers of the nuclear arms race.
Camera Atomica addresses pressing issues in the post-war era
... (more) »
About the Department
Art History and Visual Art were first taught at The University of British Columbia when noted Canadian painter, B.C. Binning, was appointed to the faculty of the newly-formed School of Architecture. The Department of Fine Arts was established as an independent department within the Faculty of Arts in 1955. Since its inception the Department has grown steadily and now includes 23 full-time members of faculty (13 art historians and 10 visual artists). In 2001, the Department changed its name from Fine Arts to the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory to better to encapsulate the innovative teaching and interdisciplinary research interests of the faculty.
The Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory comprises three streams of research-based learning and practice: Art History, with a particular focus on theoretical and critical discourses concerning the social impact of art and visual representation at both the undergraduate and graduate levels; Critical and Curatorial Studies, examining through research and exhibition projects issues in contemporary visual culture and display; and Visual Art, with an undergraduate curriculum placing art production, academic learning and a graduate emphasis on preparation for participation in the field of contemporary international art.
The Department’s faculty are actively involved in research and bring this strength into their teaching at all levels. Undergraduate and graduate seminars enhance student experience in advanced academic research and practice. As a result many of our graduates have established distinguished careers in the creative, scholarly and gallery fields.
The main goal of Art History, Visual Art and Theory is to foster critical and reflexive thinking within an inclusive and supportive environment. The Department thus maintains the highest standards of intellectual and administrative practice, seeking to be innovative in pedagogy and international in scholarly perspective.
The Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery
The Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery has an international reputation for its exhibitions, publications and projects in the area of contemporary art. Its collections and archives are an invaluable resource for scholars.
Visit the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery »
The AHVA Gallery
The mission of the AHVA Gallery is to promote research and discourse in the field of visual art by facilitating collaboration and experimentation within the department, the university, and the community. The gallery is dedicated to providing resources and opportunities to students, faculty and the community through exhibitions, public programs, and providing a venue to engage in dialogue.
Learn more about the AHVA Gallery »