Learn from other cultures
From the beginning, the Bauhaus school aligned with a modernist tendency to study cultural practice from outside the European mainstream, including African sculpture, Indian temple architecture, Andean textiles and European folk traditions. This symposium asked what it means to take cultural materials and inscribe them in a new context—whether this is done by the 19th-century ethnographic museum, the avant-garde artist, the mid-century teaching collection or in contemporary art. Specifically, it explored questions of appropriation, representation and ‘learning from’ in the work of Bauhaus emigres and their students who collected a wide range of materials indigenous to the Americas, as well as considered where these debates stand today.
Prior to the symposium a group of artists, designers, curators and art historians including symposium participants, made a study tour to museums archives and studios in New York to examine and discuss materials ranging from Mesoamerican artefacts to the work of the mid-century artists who found inspiration in these collections.
The symposium in New York was curated by Marion von Osten and Grant Watson in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut New York and the researchers Elissa Auther (NYC) and Erin Alexa Freedman (NYC).
More articles on this topic
“The name of Bauhaus has transformed into a brand”
As a curator of China Design Museum Zoe Zhang is responsible for coordinating exhibitions, research projects and collections with different departments of CDM. She also curated the permanent exhibition of China Academy of Art.
Online Journal Edition Still Undead
In the fourth and final chapter, ‘Still Undead’, ‘bauhaus imaginista’ investigates the Bauhaus’s experimental approach to a range of new media through photography and film, kinetic sculptures, visual devices and sound experiments.
Global Resonance Spaces
How, one hundred years after the founding of the Bauhaus, can culture be rethought as a social project? And how does the design school continue to inspire visionary practices and discourses today? The curators of bauhaus imaginista Marion von Osten and Grant Watson discuss with art historian Mona Schieren the Bauhaus’s transnational relationships, correspondences, and migration stories, and its relevance for an art, design, and education of the future.