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Critical Analysis of Art Module V

Rico Franses

28 August - 22 September 2023

Mondays and Fridays

INR 7,500 Participation

INR 10,000 Participation + Writing/Final Project

6:30 PM IST - 8:30 PM IST 

Worldwide Registration Open

Online via Zoom

Download Course Poster

About the Course

From a humanist perspective, architecture seems to correspond to our most fundamental need for shelter. From the point of view of the inert cosmos, however, the central problem of architecture is how to stop buildings from falling down. From this perspective, architecture might be said to be nothing but a by-product of gravity. Indeed, when seen in this way, we might think of gravity as constituting the unconscious of each and every building, the anti-architecture lurking at its heart, constantly threatening to undermine its lofty ideals. As with every art form, some of the works within that form acknowledge the unconscious that underpins them, some are blissfully unaware of it, and yet others actively repress it. Join us as we explore the different attitudes of architecture towards its gravitational unconscious; from anthills to skyscrapers, from beehives to the Taj Mahal (and the Taj Hotel), we will decipher the stories that buildings narrate about their relation (or non-relation) to gravity.

The course will concentrate on modern architecture, examining the work of Zaha Hadid, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Tadao Ando, Frank Gehry and Frank Lloyd Wright, amongst others. However, we will also consider the major historic traditions of European and Indian architecture, as well as the mud-brick structures of the Arabian Peninsula.

About the Professor

Rico Franses is Chair of the Critical Analysis of Art at BICAR. He was for many years Founding Director of the University Art Galleries and Collections at the American University of Beirut. He has also held teaching positions at The Australian National University (Canberra), Pratt Institute (New York), and a fellowship at Harvard University. He has a BA in Philosophy (McGill University, Montreal), an MA in Art History (McGill) and a PhD in Art History (Courtauld Institute of Art, London). Among his publications are a book, Donor Portraits in Byzantine Art. On the Vicissitudes of Contact between Human and Divine (Cambridge University Press, 2018), and several articles including ‘Lacan and Byzantium. In the Beginning was the Image’, ‘The Deleuzian Spatiality of Byzantine Art’, and 'Untime in the Unconscious.  On the Dislocations of Time in Freud, Lacan, Laurie Anderson and Walid Sadek’.


Students will receive a Certificate of Completion upon successful attendance of a course or a Certificate of Completion and Letter of Evaluation if they successfully attend and complete the final assignment. Those who complete three courses (attendance and writing) in the Critical Analysis of Art over two calendar years are eligible for a BICAR Diploma in Critical Analysis of Art.

Refund Policy

We will refund your mode of payment — minus a 25% processing fee — if you choose not to take this course after the first session. Or, you can ‘roll over’ your balance to another or future BICAR course without a fee deduction.


To register, we can facilitate two modes of payment — either a direct bank transfer to our Indian account or we also have a PayPal link:

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