Bauhaus and Photography – New Vision in Contemporary Photography
August 29, 2018
The traveling exhibition "Bauhaus und die Fotografie - Zum Neuen Sehen in der Gegenwartskunst" (Bauhaus and Photography – New Vision in Contemporary Photography) will have its opening on December 6, 2018 at 7.00 pm at NRW Forum Düsseldorf, and will be on show at Museum für Fotografie Berlin and Kunsthalle Darmstadt in 2019 - Bauhaus 100. anniversary. I am assistant to the curatorial team and responsible for the vast 264-pages catalogue which will be published by Kerber Verlag. Based on the Bauhaus photography’s creative impulse the exhibition project will sound how innovations at that time still have an impact on the development of picture language today. Bauhaus Photography is an inherent part of the 20. century photographical history. Names like Lásló and Lucia Moholy-Nagy, Marianne Brandt, Walter Peterhans, Elsa Thiemann or Hannes Nauer are connected to aesthetic and conceptual innovations: industrial motifs, surface texture, material properties of the surface, seriality of object arrangements, extreme perspectives, detail views as well as photography without camera are the main aesthetical characteristics of avantgarde photography. By combining unique artists like August Sander, Anne Biermann, Walter Peterhans, Erich Consemüller and tendencies of „New Vision“ in painting (New Objectivity), architecture (International Style) and design, Bauhaus Photography awakened a spirit of reform which proclaims the industrial as the collective cultural identity. The Bauhauslers perceived themselves as pioneers and trendsetters of a social model which saw technical culture as an omnipotent deflecting force. How can this approach again be reflected in contemporary artistic and academic perspective? Can technical innovation still be seen as the rule of cultural development? Which changes can we record? Which are the new conceptual directions? Which role plays art here? What kind of aesthetic is relevant? Is the medium photography still adequate? All those questions will be explored theoretically and practically. The exhibition will broach the issue of New Objective Photography in 2 perspectives: Contemporary artists which focus mainly on photography and work in the tradition of New Vision will be on display with their work. They will artistically reflect about the relevance and the powerful imprint of Avantgarde Photography. Moholy-Nagy is an outstanding example of New Vision Photography and a pioneer who worked practically and theoretically in New Media Art. The former Bauhaus artist curated 2 halls at the Werkbund Show FiFo in 1929. The topic was the history and future of photography. By doing so Moholy-Nagy was not only the curator but also an artist and media-art-pioneer who defined the past and the future of the new medias photography and film. Both halls had manifest aspects. It is planned to reconstruct both halls not like a quote but in a curatorial scenographic scene. The interpretation will be modeled on Moholy-Nagy’s proposals of film screenings and exhibition design as well as the theorem about perception in times of mass media, and how he translated, developed and published it. Landmarks like Simultan- und Polykino (Moholy), „Section allemande“ (hall2) at the Werkbund Show in Paris 1930, „Raum der Gegenwart“ (1930), and the remaining design of the typescript of a „dynamic film“.