In conjunction with trends described as “Neues Sehen” (New Vision) in painting, architecture and design, Bauhaus photography found itself pervaded by a reformatory spirit which found its expression in a new visual language. Artists began diverging from long-established structures in photographic composition, lighting and exposure. They postulated a dynamic orientation which correlated with social and industrial progress, and documented it accordingly. The Bauhaus saw itself as pioneering a social model which recognised technical and industrial culture as the future. From a contemporary perspective, how can we artistically reflect on this approach again – in particular, with photographic means?
Based on the creative impulses of Bauhaus photography, the project “Bauhaus and Photography. ‘Neues Sehen’ in Contemporary Art” aims to explore how the innovations of that period can advance photographic language today. It focuses on the most important aesthetic attributes of avant-garde photography, for example, images of industrial culture, surface textures, material characteristics, seriality in object arrangement, extreme perspectives, visual detailing, and camera-less photography.
The project is developing an exhibition which will examine the topicality of New Objectivity in photography and its contemporary references. In this setting, works by international artists and photographers will be displayed alongside pieces by László Moholy-Nagy. Known for his experimental works of photography, the famous Bauhaus artist served as curator for two rooms in the Werkbund exhibition “Film and Photography” in 1929 – one highlighting the history of photography, and the other, its future. Both rooms possessed a “manifesto” character.
The project does not intend to reconstruct the former exhibition rooms, but rather highlight their reception in a curatorial-scenographic sense.
Artistic director: Kris Scholz
Curators: Kai-Uwe Hemken, Christoph Schaden, Kris Scholz
Artists: Daniel T Braun, Max de Esteban (ES), Douglas Gordon (GB), Antje Hanebeck, Taiyo Onorato & Nico Krebs (CH), Thomas Ruff, Viviane Sassen (NL), Stefanie Seufert, Kris Scholz, Dominique Teufen (CH), Wolfgang Tillmans