The exhibition project bauhaus imaginista presumes modernism to be an inherently cosmopolitan project, something that emerged through transcultural exchange. It explores correspondences between various reform movements worldwide that believed in art as an agent of social change and traces how each of them redefined design and arts education through the eclectic study of sources, from the avant-garde to the pre-modern. Thus, bauhaus imaginista invites reflections on urgent questions for cultural production today: How can we imagine the necessary shift from “thinking globally” to being relevant for different cultural contexts? What is gained by thinking and acting across the divide between art and design? How can we make these insights work for art and design institutions today? Or, do we need to imagine new institutional infrastructures?
Marking the Bauhaus school’s centenary, bauhaus imaginista explores and discusses these questions with partners in eight countries. Marion von Osten and Grant Watson, curators and creative directors of bauhaus imaginista , have developed the project with the help of an international team of researchers, artists and designers, as well as with institutional partners in Morocco, China, the United States, Japan, Russia, Brazil, Nigeria, and India. Online, bauhaus-imaginista.org provides information and updates about the project’s events and exhibitions in the following years and will regularly publish new material on research processes and results.
bauhaus imaginista: Learning From, Rabat
Panel discussion and Workshop, Mar. 23–24 2018
How can the reading of cultures be decolonialized? With the start of bauhaus imaginista ’s year program in Morocco in Rabat, this question is reflected through the study of vernacular objects as well as through parallel projects in the 20th century that wanted to go beyond the western paradigms of knowledge production and transfer.
bauhaus imaginsta: Moving Away, Hangzhou
Exhibition and Symposium, Apr. 8–Aug. 26 2018
The way in which a Bauhaus’s design ethos spread internationally, its institutional role and its evolution from within diverse cultures, forms the basis of the bauhaus imaginista exhibition Moving Away. The title i ndicates both the migration of Bauhaus ideas over the course of the twentieth century to the present day including in the former USSR, India, North Korea and China, as well as the distance produced by time and geography. The exhibition was presented as part of the opening of the China Design Museum and was accompanied by an international symposium (April 9–10, 2018) addressing the rich history of Bauhaus’s relationship with design and architecture in Asia.
bauhaus imaginista: Learning From, New York
Workshop and Symposium, Jun. 7–9 2018
The three-day workshop and public seminar Learning From i n New York explored questions of appropriation, representation and ‘learning from’ in the work of Bauhaus emigres and their students who studied and collected a wide range of objects and materials indigenous to the Americas. A group of artists, designers, curators and art historians including indigenous scholars examined this history in relation to form and technique as well as ethics, followed by a public seminar at the New York Goethe-Institute held in collaboration with the researchers Elissa Auther and Erin Alexa Freedman.
bauhaus imaginista: Corresponding With, Japan
Exhibition and Symposium, 4 August 2018
The exhibition Corresponding With in The National Museum of Modern Art Kyoto traced the tangible connections and commonalities between the Bauhaus and two Asian pedagogical models of the 20th century: the Kala Bhavana (Institute of Fine Arts) in Shantiniketan, India from 1919 and the experimental Seikatsu Kōsei Kenkyushō (Research Institute for Life Configurations) in Tokyo between 1931 and 1939. This transnational art education movement of the early twentieth century provided the point of departure for a symposium at the Goethe-Institut Tokyo.
bauhaus imaginista: Moving Away: The Internationalist Architect, Moscow
Exhibition, Sep. 12–Nov. 30 2018
The Moscow iteration of the exhibition series bauhaus imaginista: Moving Away traces the complex relationship between the Bauhaus and the Soviet Union through the experiences of former Bauhaus teachers and students in Moscow in the 1930s. For the exhibition at Garage Contemporary Museum of Art, contemporary practitioners were invited to respond to the personal archives of various Bauhaus-trained architects, producing reading of material relating to the architects’ socialist backgrounds and work in the Soviet Union.
bauhaus imaginista: Learning From, São Paulo
Exhibition, Oct. 24 2018–Jan. 6 2019
bauhaus imaginista: Learning From at the SESC Pompeia in São Paulo explores the role of cultural appropriation during the time of the historical Bauhaus, as well as in the school’s subsequent legacy. Through a wide range of artworks, artifacts, films, documentary material and new artistic commissions, the exhibition shows how from the 1940s onwards Bauhaus emigres, 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. The accompanying discursive program was developed with the specific intention of interrogating these histories, which share in common the cultural logic of appropriation, the extensive borrowing by Western artists from Indigenous and Mestizo cultures.
bauhaus imaginista: Decolonizing the Campus, Lagos
Film and Symposium, Nov. 23–24 2018
The symposium Decolonizing the Campus will be held in Lagos on 23 and 24 November, in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut, Gallery 16/16, the Department of Architecture at the University of Lagos and Obafemi Awolowo University, Osun State, Nigeria. The symposium will offer a critical dialogue on design pedagogy and campus construction as practiced at the start of Nigeria’s transition to independence.
bauhaus imaginista: Corresponding With, New Delhi
Exhibition and Symposium, Dec 1-2 2018
bauhaus imaginista, Berlin
Exhibition, Mar. 15–Jun. 10 2019