bauhaus imaginista: international program of exhibitions and events (Moscow/São Paulo)

bauhaus imaginista: international program of exhibitions and events (Moscow/São Paulo)

bauhaus imaginista

Hannes Meyer,
Untitled, undated, ca. 1925–26
Linocut on paper
32.5 ×43.5 cm
gta Archives / ETH Zurich, Hannes Meyer / © Heirs to Hannes Meyer

September 7, 2018
bauhaus imaginista: international program of exhibitions and events (Moscow/São Paulo)
September–October 2018

The bauhaus imaginista international program continues with the exhibitions Moving Away. The Internationalist Architect at the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow and Learning From at SESC Pompeia, São Paulo. 

The three-year research project bauhaus imaginista, highlights the international reception of the Bauhaus in the context of major 20th century geopolitical change. Over the course of 2018, an international program, curated by Marion von Osten and Grant Watson, consisting of four separate exhibitions will be realized in China, Japan, Russia and Brazil, complemented by discursive events in India, the United States, Morocco, and Nigeria in partnership with the local Goethe-Institutes. 

bauhaus imaginista: Moving Away. The Internationalist Architect
September 12–November 30, 2018
Exhibition / public program
Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow

Moving Away. The Internationalist Architect traces the complex relationship between the Bauhaus and the Soviet Union through the life, work and experiences of former Bauhaus teachers and students émigrés to Moscow. The exhibition focuses on the group surrounding the Bauhaus’s second director, Swiss architect Hannes Meyer, who worked in the Soviet Union from 1930 to 1936. His German co-émigrés included the architect Philipp Tolziner (who lived for the rest of his life in Moscow), architect and urban planner Konrad Püschel and architect Lotte Stam-Beese, the first woman educated in the building department of Bauhaus Dessau.

Their private estates are stored in the Bauhaus Archive Berlin, the Bauhaus Dessau Archive, the German Architecture Museum Frankfurt (DAM), the Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture at ETH Zurich and the Netherlands Architecture Institute. This exhibition opens up these estates to consider the hierarchies and power structures reflected in the collecting process as well as the partial precarious status of what is left behind.

Archival material—including architecural drawings and city plans, manifestos, photographs, letters, collages and other ephemera—describe these Bauhaus architects’ relationship to the Soviet Union, as well as the legacy of communist ideals and utopian histories. These materials,in turn, reflect on contemporary attempts to memoralize left wing histories and reformulate collaborative practices, while also addressing the migratory experience that has become so prominent in our present historical moment.

For the exhibition at Garage, contemporary practitioners have been invited to respond to these archives and produce “readings” proposing different ways to animate archival knowledge and reference the subjective nature of the Bauhaus architects’ own modes of self-narratization. In opening up these estates, Moving Away. The Internationalist Architect also seeks to consider the hierarchies and power structures evident in their effects, as well as the precarious, fragmentary status of what they left behind. 

Archival responses have been commissioned from the artist Alice Creischer, the theorists Doreen Mende and researchers Tatiana Efrussi and Daniel Talesnik. The exhibition will also include material generated through participants’ readings as well as selections of archive material chosen by the curators. The architecture and design group Kooperative für Darstellungspolitik and Matthias Görlich Studio advised on exhibition and graphic design.

The Archive Talks
Conversations, presentations and lectures as part of the exhibition’s public program include the artists and researchers Alice Creischer, Tatiana Efrussi, Thomas Flierl, Anja Guttenberger, Doreen Mende and Daniel Talesnik as well as Wendelien van Oldenborgh who will present her research for a new commission on the life and contemporary legacy of the Bauhaus graduate Lotte Stam-Beese. After working as an architect in the Soviet Union, she moved to the Netherlands in 1935 and became famous for the reconstruction of Rotterdam after World War II.
Free entrance

bauhaus imaginista: Moving Away. The Internationalist Architect is curated by Marion von Osten and Grant Watson in collaboration with Anastasia Mityushina, Garage curator. With support from researchers Tatiana Efrussi (Moscow), Thomas Flierl (Berlin), Anja Guttenberger (Berlin) and Daniel Talesnik (Santiago de Chile).

bauhaus imaginista: Learning From 
October 24, 2018–January 6, 2019
Exhibition / public program
SESC São Paulo, Goethe-Institut São Paulo (Brazil)

bauhaus imaginista: Learning From at the SESC Pompeia (São Paulo) explores the role played by cultural appropriation at the Bauhaus, as well as in the school’s subsequent legacy, detailed in three different international histories of Bauhaus reception. As its point of departure, the exhibition takes Paul Klee’s 1927 drawing Teppich (Carpet), a work which provides evidence of Klee’s abiding interest in traditional folk cultures. Books on “world art” were also a crucial part of the Bauhaus library, a priority reflected in Bauhaus students and faculty members being granted access to the collections of German ethnological museums.

The exhibition explores the dialectic between traditional cultural production and modernisms in several interrogating this often reciprocal relationships. After leaving Europe, Bauhaus émigrés, including Josef and Anni Albers, and Marguerite Wildenhain, traveled throughout the Americas observing, documenting and collecting handicrafts produced by pre-Columbian and contemporary Indigenous cultures—materials that played a significant role in these artists’ subsequent work and their teaching at progressive institutions such as Black Mountain College. Vernacular traditions were also politicized in post-independence Morocco, where the early 1960s rejection of the French Beaux-Arts led Moroccan artists to look to local crafts in their search to develop forms of contemporary art and design embodying an authentic postcolonial style. In Brazil, a new design school named the Institute of Contemporary Art (IAC)—established by the architect Lina Bo Bardi—claimed Bauhaus credentials through both its curriculum and instructors. Widespread resistance to the hegemony of European modernism and a perceived need to produce a specifically Brazilian aesthetic led Bo Bardi and others to embrace Brazilian popular cultures.

A discursive program will interrogate these histories, which share in common the logic of cultural appropriation carried out in order to inscribe  various traditional ways-of-doing within new regimes of meaning.

bauhaus imaginista: Learning From is produced and co-funded by the SESC São Paulo and curated by Marion von Osten and Grant Watson. With support from researchers Luiza Proença (São Paulo), Maud Houssais (Rabat), Anja Guttenberger (Berlin), Elissa Auther (NYC), and Erin Alexa Freedman (NYC).

bauhaus imaginista is a collaboration between the Bauhaus Cooperation Berlin Dessau Weimar, the Goethe-Institut and Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (HKW). The research project with its different exhibitions, workshops and symposia is taking place for the centenary of the founding of the Bauhaus. It will be enhanced with international perspectives of the Goethe-Institut and conclude at HKW as part of the long-term project 100 Years of Now in 2019. It is made possible by funds from the German Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, the German Federal Cultural Foundation and the German Foreign Office.

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September 7, 2018

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