Focus On: Contemporary Art (2009)
Focus On: Contemporary Art set (2009)
From the back cover of the book:

"Focus On: Contemporary Art" presents artwork by seven internationally recognized artists from six different
countries, including Australia, Great Britain and the USA. The
artists all work with the English language in their art and use
English to communicate about their work. The book focuses
on who the artists are, what materials they have chosen to
work with and what ideas they are trying to express. Looking at
artwork is like reading: the more you practice, the better you will
get at it, and the more fun you will have doing it. And it is fun!

The artists featured are:
Ron Mueck
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
Pipilotti Rist
Kerry James Marshall
Damien Hirst
Louise Bourgeois





From the back cover of Teacher’s Guide:

Focus On: Contemporary Art is designed to inspire students to improve their English language skills while learning about contemporary art. The artwork presented in the textbook has been chosen based on its ability to engage students and motivate them to work with the English language in new ways. Learning about contemporary art naturally involves discussion, descriptive writing, creative writing and critical analysis. Focus On: Contemporary Art provides opportunities to work with a variety of different types of texts and formats, including newspaper articles, songs, storyboards, interviews, instructions, poems, stories, diaries, reports, messages, essays and debates.

The Teacher’s Guide
The Teacher’s Guide follows the textbook artist by artist. For each text in the textbook, the Teacher’s Guide provides extra information and notes for teachers. There are detailed explanations of all the artwork shown in the textbook, tips on how to get students to understand particular works or types of artwork, and questions with model answers for class discussions.
For each text in the textbook, the Teacher’s Guide also provides exercises and detailed suggestions for how to approach the projects. The exercises and projects are designed to develop speaking, writing and listening skills and many are presented on worksheets that can be photocopied and handed out to students. Additional related texts and exercises are also found in the Teacher’s Guide. Teachers who work with cooperative learning structures can easily use most of the exercises.
The Teacher’s Guide also provides many suggestions for related topics of study. These topics include popular test topics such as the mass media, consumerism, identity, the environment, poverty, discrimination, and race and gender issues.

The artists all work with the English language in their art and use English to communicate about their work. The book focuses on who the artists are, what materials they have chosen to work with and what ideas they are trying to express.




Journalist Vibe Mortensen from No-Nonsense-Network writes:

Suzanne Russell has just published "Focus On: Contemporary Art." Pedagogical and easy to use, her book gives lots of thoughtful instruction on how to look at art and see the ideas in any given artwork. The book, which is in English, was tested in August at Toldkammeret in Helsingør, where 9th and 10th grade classes enthusiastically created their own artwork inspired by projects described in the book.

The book can be purchased at www.alinea.dk.






Danish Review from Webzine for Teachers
www.folkeskolen.dk
9. feb. 2010
Focus on Contemporary Art
Af: Maja Birgitte Lumholtz

"Spændende, provokerende, poetisk, smukt og nogle gange helt uforståeligt". Det er kunst, der er i fokus; samtidskunst eller nutidig kunst. På engelsk contemporary art.
Vi skal tale om kunsten på engelsk, fordi samtaler om moderne kunst kan anspore og motivere umiddelbarheden i sproget. Og det skal ske ved at inddrage værker fra hele verden og lade de pågældende kunstnere fortælle om den verden, værkerne spejler og bryder med. Provokation og poesi i skønsom blanding.
Det er forlaget Alinea, som har satset og gjort et scoop. Det er både godt - og meget modigt. Udfaldet er et tværfagligt materiale, som involverer faget engelsk og moderne kunst, og det er guf for alle, der tror på kunsten som access til flere nuancer i livet. For nok er materialet udarbejdet med henblik på at skabe spændende diskussioner på engelsk, men det er ikke ensbetydende med, at samtalen om emnet ikke kan spredes til hele paletten af fag. Dette skrevet som en opfordring.
Der er bog til både lærer og elev samt medfølgende cd med lydfiler til elevbogens lytteøvelser. På cd'en ligger desuden en videoinstallation, "Sip my Ocean", som er lige så avanceret, som titlen lyder. Forfatteren Suzanne Russell inviterer til dialog om et felt, der ikke stræber efter det rigtige svar. Derimod det mest ærlige. Og når der ikke findes et entydigt svar, er det lettere at turde give los og sige sin mening. Det er det, det vil, materialet: Have os til at bruge det personlige sprog som supplement til det formale.