bauhaus
imaginista
●Edition 2: Learning From
Jun. 7–9 2018
Workshop und Symposium

New York

  • Goethe-Institut New York
  • 30 Irving Place New York, NY 10003, USA

Lena Bergner, Zeichnung eines Handwebrahmens, 1936–39
Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau, © Erbengemeinschaft nach Lena Bergner.

Bauhaus-Emigrant*innen und ihre Schüler sammelten und studierten amerindische Objekte und Materialien auf Recherchereisen und in nordamerikanischen Museen, wodurch sich ihre eigenen künstlerischen Methoden veränderten. 

Rose Slivka, "New Tapestry", in: Craft Horizons, March/April 1963, © American Craft Council.

Dieses Symposium stellte sich die Frage, was es bedeutet, kulturelles Material in einen neuen Kontext einzubringen – sei es durch das ethnographische Museum des 19. Jahrhunderts, den Avantgardekünstler, die Lehrsammlung Mitte des Jahrhunderts oder in der zeitgenössischen Kunst. Insbesondere Fragen der Aneignung, Repräsentation und des "Lernens von" wurden in der Arbeit der Bauhaus-Emigranten*innen und ihrer Schüler*innen untersucht, die eine breite Palette von Materialien sammelten, die in Amerika beheimatet sind, sowie die Frage, wo diese Debatten heute stehen.

Von Anfang an orientierte sich die Bauhausschule an einer modernistischen Tendenz, die kulturelle Praxis außerhalb des europäischen Mainstreams zu studieren, darunter afrikanische Skulptur, indische Tempelarchitektur, andine Textilien und europäische Volkstraditionen. Nach der Schließung der Schule reisten Bauhäusler, darunter Josef und Anni Albers, Marguerite Wildenhain, Hannes Meyer und Lena Bergner, auf verschiedenen Wegen in die USA und nach Mittel- und Südamerika, um die Werke präkolumbischer und zeitgenössischer indigener Kulturen zu beobachten, zu dokumentieren und zu sammeln.

Die Referenten des Symposiums sprachen über eine Faszination in der Bauhaus-Weberei mit Formen und Techniken andiner Gewebe, die sie in Büchern und Ethnographischen Museen sahen und in eigene Textildesigns einfließen ließen. Es ging darum, wie sich Anni Albers und andere Bauhaus-Weberinnen, aber und deren Schüler*innen in den USA – einschließlich einer neuen Generation von Künstlern, die die Fiber Art Bewegung begründeten – den gewebten Traditionen des alten Perus zuwandten, nicht nur wegen ihrer technischen Brillanz, sondern auch, weil sie glaubten, dass diese Kultur den Textilien einen Wert verlieh, der ihrem eigenen Handwerk vorenthalten war. Einige ihrer Zeitgenossen verstanden diese Textilien als Mittel des Widerstandes und als Träger spezifischer kultureller Kenntnisse, ebenso wie als Forschungsgegenstand einflussreicher Persönlichkeiten des 20. Jahrhunderts, darunter Raoul D'Harcourt und Junius Bird.

Das Symposium untersuchte aber auch blinde Flecken in diesen Sammlungsgeschichten, vor allem in Bezug auf die Gemeinschaften, denen diese Materialien entwendet wurden. Es wurden Argumente zur Rückübertragung von Artefakten, deren Verwendung und ursprüngliche Kontexte sowie die hybriden Formen, die ihre Aneignung hervorrufen kann, diskutiert.

Vor dem Symposium unternahm eine Gruppe von Künstlern, Designern, Kuratoren und Kunsthistorikern, darunter Symposiumsteilnehmer, eine Studienreise zu Museumsarchiven und -studios in New York (darunter in das National Museum of the American India, das American Museum of Natural History, das Antonio Ratti Textile Centre im Metropolitan Museum und die Lenore Tawney Foundation), um Materialien zu untersuchen und zu diskutieren, deren Spannbreite von mesoamerikanischen Artefakten bis hin zu den Werken der Künstler zur Mitte des Jahrhunderts – Künstler wie Anni Albers and Lenore Tawney, die in diesen Sammlungen Inspiration fanden – reichten.

Das Symposium in New York wurde kuratiert von Marion von Osten und Grant Watson in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Goethe-Institut New York und den Forscherinnen Elissa Auther (NYC) und Erin Alexa Freedman (NYC).

Ernst Fuhrmann: Tlinkit und Haida, Folkwang Verlag GmbH, Hagen 1922; Raoul D’Harcourt: Textiles of Ancient Peru and their Techniques, University of Washington Press, Seattle 1962.

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