Exhibition Documentation

Wall Texts from the Exhibition

Marcel Breuer’s filmstrip collage ein bauhaus-film. fünf jahre lang (a bauhaus film. five years long, 1926) visualizes the development of the chair from crafted object to industrial prototype to a future where objects become obsolete. Breuer believed that design must adapt to its environment—an argument against universal forms and methods. Moving Away looks at how Bauhaus ideas emigrated to countries including the former USSR, India, North Korea and China, never migrated as pure dissemination, but instead accepted or rejected in relation to specific conditions against a backdrop of geopolitical change in the 20th Century.

Bauhaus design went beyond individual disciplines to consider the building as a whole in relation to its environment and to social function. Following his dismissal in 1930 Bauhaus director Hannes Meyer and seven students travelled to the Soviet Union, where they designed for educational facilities, interiors, housing schemes and large-scale urban plans. When under Stalin’s regime avant-garde ideas were rejected, many left the Soviet Union, to work in locations including Hungary, Chile, the German Democratic Republic and North-Korea.

HfG Ulm (founded 1953) continued Bauhaus ideas in Germany, and developed links with the National Institute of Design (NID) Ahmedabad (founded 1961) and the Industrial Design Centre (IDC) Mumbai (founded 1969). Aspects of the preliminary course were incorporated into these school’s curricula, along with workshop-based training. From the perspective of post war Germany, design was understood as a catalyst for economic reconstruction, and in post—Independence India was also seen as a potential development tool.

Richard Paulick (Walter Gropius’ assistant) and Wang Dahong (a student of Gropius) both taught at the Architecture Department of St. John's University in Shanghai, which had a curriculum directly referencing the Bauhaus model. These two architects played an important role in the Greater Shanghai Plan, a modern urban project based on rationalist principles. Subsequently, during the cultural revolution Bauhaus ideas were attacked as bourgeois, but in recent decades have been rehabilitated in China.

Moving Away is curated by Marion von Osten and Grant Watson in collaboration with researchers Suchitra Balasubrahmanyan, Regina Bittner, Thomas Flierl, Anja Guttenberger, Eduard Koegel and Daniel Talesnik.

Exhibition Design is by Kooperative für Darstellungspolitik with Graphic Design by Studio Matthias Görlich.

It has been produced in collaboration with the China Design Museum, Hangzhou, and presented in partnership with the Kiran Nadar Museum, New Delhi.

bauhaus imaginista is an international research project addressing the transnational legacy of the Bauhaus.

Its programme for 2018 includes exhibition in China, Japan, Russia, Brazil and India and workshops in Morocco, the USA and Nigeria, and a large-scale exhibition at the House of World Cultures (HKW) in Berlin in 2019.

It is a common project of the Bauhaus Kooperation Berlin Dessau Weimar, Goethe-Institut and the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, funded by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Federal Cultural Foundation on the occasion of the Centenary ‘100 years of bauhaus.’

bauhaus imaginista Team Berlin

Artistic directors, curators: Marion von Osten, Grant Watson

Project Manager: Julia Jung

Project Administrator: Philipp Krüger

Production: Franziska Zahl (Bureau Konkret)

Registrar: Annette Schryen

Image Editor: Iris Ströbel

Logo Design: Julie Peeters

Online Journal Editor: Anja Guttenberger, Michael Baers

Press: Hendrik von Boxberg (bauhaus imaginista)

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