The Social Utopia of the Bauhaus

Successful finale of the international exhibition project - bauhaus imaginista travels on to Berne and Nottingham.

Yesterday, bauhaus imaginista closed at Haus der Kulturen der Welt. The exhibition succeeded in conveying the school’s global resonance and the great relevance of Bauhaus pedagogy for the present day to a broad international and local audience. Developed by curators Marion von Osten and Grant Watson, the exhibition was popular with the public as well as the press and the many social media channels.

The two accompanying conferences, which shed light on the political and pedagogical significance of the Bauhaus from a contemporary perspective, attracted an international audience of experts. A gratifyingly large number of first-time visitors discovered HKW thanks to the exhibition theme. Educational programs such as guided tours, a bilingual audio guide, workshops for children and teenagers as well as accessible formats for deaf and visually impaired people on the Long Night of Ideas were enthusiastically received.

“All too often, global is used as an empty catchword. ‘bauhaus imaginista’ at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt aims to buck this trend with its timely and historically accurate premise that the Bauhaus was an international phenomenon even before the Nazis scattered its affiliates around the world.” artforum international 5/19

The re-politicization of the Bauhaus by the exhibition underlined the focus of HKW as a home of present-age research.

Since the opening night on March 14, more than 32,000 visitors flocked to the exhibition. The interest was also reflected in the good sales of the exhibition catalog.

The project was developed in an outstanding collaboration with project partners the Bauhaus Kooperation Berlin Dessau Weimar, the Goethe-Institut and HKW beginning in November 2017 as well as international art and design institutions in China, Japan, Russia, Brazil and India. bauhaus imaginista will keep moving: The Paul Klee Center in Berne will show the HKW exhibition bauhaus imaginista from September 20, 2019 until January 12, 2020. In the UK, with Pop Culture in Britain Beyond the Bauhaus Nottingham Contemporary will highlight the British aspect of the Bauhaus, complemented by the Berlin exhibition chapter bauhaus imaginista: still undead from September 21, 2019 until January 5, 2020.

bauhaus imaginista is curated by Marion von Osten and Grant Watson
in collaboration with the researchers, artists and designers Kader Attia, Elissa Auther, Suchitra Balasubrahmanyan, Regina Bittner, Gavin Butt, Helena Čapková, Alice Creischer, Anshuman Dasgupta, Zvi Efrat, Tatiana Efrussi, Thomas Flierl, Erin Alexa Freedman, Anja Guttenberger, Christian Hiller, Yuko Ikeda, Maud Houssais, Eduard Kögel, Kooperative für Darstellungspolitik, Toni Maraini, Doreen Mende, Mariana Meneses, Partha Mitter, Jin Motohashi, The Otolith Group, Luiza Proença, Daniel Talesnik, Paolo Tavares, Hiromitsu Umemyia, and Wendelien van Oldenbourg.

The development of the project can still be traced in the online journal at In addition, the mobile exhibition element designed by the artist Luca Frei entitled bauhaus imaginista: collected research shows the genesis of bauhaus imaginista at various Goethe-Instituts and other partner institutions worldwide until the end of 2020.

bauhaus imaginista is a collaboration between the Bauhaus Kooperation Berlin Dessau Weimar, the Goethe-Institut and Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW).

The research project with various exhibition stations is part of the centenary of the founding of Bauhaus. The Goethe-Instituts enhanced the program with their international perspectives and, as part of the HKW project 100 Years of Now, it was brought together in Berlin. bauhaus imaginista is made possible by funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM). The Federal Cultural Foundation (KSB) supported the exhibition in Berlin, the Foreign Office supported the international stations. 3sat and Deutschlandfunk Kultur are some of the media partners. bauhaus imaginista is realized in collaboration with the China Design Museum / China Academy of Art (Hangzhou), the National Museum of Modern Art Kyoto/ Independent Administrative Institution of National Museum of Art, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art (Moscow) and SESC São Paulo. Partners abroad are the Goethe-Instituts in China, New Delhi, Lagos, Moscow, New York, Rabat, São Paulo, and Tokyo as well as Le Cube – independent art room (Rabat) and other institutions.

The school project bauhaus reloaded at HKW was funded by the Berliner Projektfonds Kulturelle Bildung.

Haus der Kulturen der Welt is funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media and by the Federal Foreign Office.

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