From its inception, the Bauhaus was internationally oriented; students and teachers travelled from different parts of Europe and Asia to join the school. The rise of the right wing forced the Bauhaus to move from Weimar to Dessau in 1925 and to Berlin in 1932, before the National Socialists seized control and perpetrated their violence through the state apparatus. The school closed in 1933 and, consequently, many students and masters fled Germany to settle in different parts of the world.
bauhaus imaginista provides a rereading of the cosmopolitan conditions of the Bauhaus from a transnational perspective, through a series of histories that have been investigated by the curators and a team of researchers since 2016. The exhibition in Berlin follows on from events in Rabat, Hangzhou, New York, Kyoto and Tokyo, Moscow, São Paulo, Lagos, and New Delhi in 2018. It shows how the Bauhaus, through contact with other schools and modernisms developed, and how its concepts and methods were refracted, adapted, or rejected through contact with local conditions: including Cold War struggles, the Non-Aligned Movement, dictatorships, processes of decolonization and development projects, as well as the burgeoning artistic and popular cultures in the postwar period. The exhibition follows these transmissions of knowledge, through migration as well as the interpretation, appropriation, and imagination of Bauhaus practices, in China, North Korea, India, Morocco, the Soviet Union, Nigeria, the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, and Brazil.
bauhaus imaginista takes four different Bauhaus objects as points of departure for thematic and conceptual chapters linked to the school and its reception in diverse geographies. At the Haus der Kulturen der Welt these chapters are presented as four distinct exhibitions situated in different parts of the building: