Reflecting Light Games

Kurt Schwerdtfeger, 1922–1923

Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Archiv der Moderne / © Kunstverein Hannover
Reflecting Light Games, author: Kurt Schwerdtfeger / photo: Fotoatelier Hüttich & Oemler, Weimar, 1922–1923

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Together with Josef Hartwig, Kurt Schwerdtfeger constructed an illuminated apparatus with various cardboard shapes that could be moved in front of it by hand as a contribution to the Lantern Festival in July of 1922. The result was abstract patterns formed by the shadows on a transparent projection surface. Based on their discovery of dual warm and cold shadows as an optical phenomenon, Schwerdtfeger and Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack continued to develop the system into the Reflecting Plays of Colours. Although this was still operated manually, it showed a strong relationship to the abstract films of the 1920s.

Kurt Schwerdtfeger’s 'Reflecting Light Games' had its premiere at Kandinsky’s flat in 1922 and was shown once again that same year at the Bauhaus. In 1923, it became part of the programme of the Bauhaus stage that had a performance during the Bauhaus Week at the Jena Theatre.

  1. Literatur:
  2. Hoormann, Anne (2003): Lichtspiele. Zur Medienreflexion der Avantgarde in der Weimarer Republik, München.
  3. Moholy-Nagy, László (1925): Malerei, Fotografie, Film, Berlin.
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