Symposium Announcement and Program

Johannes Itten: Art as Life and bauhaus imaginista

15 and 16 November 2019, Zentrum Paul Klee, Berne

Berne is featuring two exhibitions to celebrate the centenary of the founding of the Bauhaus:

The Kunstmuseum Bern is devoting a solo exhibition to Johannes Itten, the founder of the Bauhaus prep course, in showcasing his utopian project of merging art and life in a holistic way. The interplay between key works from his painting oeuvre and his recently researched sketch books throws new light on Itten’s hitherto little understood mode of seeking to understand the world about him through drawing.

Together with bauhaus imaginista, the Zentrum Paul Klee is presenting the novel interpretation of the Bauhaus as a vibrant, globally shaped phenomenon and cosmopolitical project. The exhibition is the result of a two-year research project und consolidates the findings and outcomes of the 2018 exhibitions, symposia and workshops that took place in Rabat, Hangzhou, New York, Kyoto und Tokyo, Moscow, Saõ Paulo, Lagos as well as in New Delhi. The synthesis of these events and their findings was shown for the first time at Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin.

As an avant-garde school of art, architecture and design, the Bauhaus and likewise the former Bauhaus masters Johannes Itten and Paul Klee were embedded in an international network of intellectuals and artists, European and non-European organizations, collectives and institutions.

Against this backdrop, the Zentrum Paul Klee is organizing a symposium that seeks to present new methodical issues for rethinking to art history. Transnational and transcultural exchange processes have made it necessary that the paradigm of sovereign modern nations be questioned – and consequently also the fundamental principles of classical art history. New concepts of interpretation, interconnection, transformation, artistic and cultural mobility open up our eyes to new imaginative horizons, which span the many corresponding modern movements in which the Bauhaus and the diverse reception thereof played an active part.

Organized by: Fabienne Eggelhöfer, Zentrum Paul Klee; Marion von Osten, bauhaus imaginista; Christoph Wagner, Lehrstuhl für Kunstgeschichte, Universität


Friday 15 November 2019

Moderation: Andi Schoon, Hochschule der Künste Bern, HKB

12:15 pm Guided tour through the exhibition Johannes Itten: Kunst als Leben. Bauhausutopien und Dokumente der Wirklichkeit at Kunstmuseum Bern

1:15 - 1:45 pm Transfer mit Bus Nr. 12 bis Zentrum Paul Klee

2:00 pm Zentrum Paul Klee, Forum: Welcome and introduction

2:45 pm Partha Mitter, Prof. em., University of Sussex
Bauhaus and Its Teachers: Rethinking Modernism in the 21st Century

3:30 pm – 16:15 Pause

4:15 pm Christoph Wagner, Universität Regensburg
Bauhausutopien – eine postkoloniale Perspektive

5:00 pm Malika Maskarinec, eikones – Zentrum für die Theorie und Geschichte des Bildes
Words at Work: The Epistemic Functions of Ittenʼs Diaries

5:45 pm Maria Stavrinaki, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
The Threads of the Past: Weaving as a Historical Metaphor in the Bauhaus

Saturday 16 November 2019

Moderation: Rachel Mader, Hochschule Luzern, HSLU

09:30 am Grant Watson, curator bauhaus imaginista
From ‘Usefulness’ to the Art Fabric

10:15 am Toni Maraini, Prof. em., Casablanca Fine Arts School
The Importance of Weimar's Bauhaus Legacy for the New Teachings and Works of Morocco's Post-Independence Casablanca Fine Arts School

11:00 am Marion von Osten, curator bauhaus imaginista
The Proletarian Artists. Lena Bergner and Hannes Meyer

11:45 am – 12:30 pm Break

12:30 pm Peter J. Schneemann, Universität Bern
Anachrone Utopien. Revival und Rekonstruktion in der zeitgenössischen Auseinandersetzung mit dem Bauhaus

1:15 pm Andi Schoon, Hochschule der Künste Bern, HKB
Ganzheitlich neoliberal. Bilden Bauhaus-Nachfolgeeinrichtungen für eine deregulierte Kulturlandschaft aus?

2:15 pm Guided tour through the exhibition bauhaus imaginista at Zentrum Paul Klee

3:30 pm Apéro

5:00 pm Bauhaus lantern festival with parade through the quarter: With presentation of the light performance Reflektorisches Lichtspiel by Kurt Schwerdtfeger, music of the Bauhaus chapel of the HKB-Jazz department, triadic ballet of the Jungen Bühne Bern, open exhibition and hundreds of lanterns.

9:00 pm Bauhaus party at Kino Rex

Program subject to change

All events take place in the Forum at the Zentrum Paul Klee, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

Participation in the symposium is free of charge.
Please register at by 11 November 2019.

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