The Treachery of Images

La trahison des images – financed through the Bauhaus Today Fund

Is it truth if it occurs before our eyes – because someone happened to place it there? Or do we knowingly allow ourselves to be deceived by iconic images in spite of and especially during the age of classical modernism? “The Treachery of Images” addresses a current phenomenon, namely what we hear often contradicts what we see; images reveal the true nature of words – and vice versa. While artists create a poetic world, politicians shape reality. In view of the aesthetic and social impulses which arose from the “primal catastrophe” of World War I and quickly triggered new forms of radicalism, this project presents the Bauhaus as a laboratory of perception. On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus, the ensemble Nico and the Navigators together with the Panthea Company shall return to the place where the Bauhaus began; in the Dessau Masters’ Houses, they will investigate the suitability of a pioneering technology for presenting the history and stories of the Bauhaus. With the aid of augmented reality (AR), the project transfers the aesthetic and political convictions of the Bauhaus masters such as Paul Klee und Wassily Kandinsky, Oskar Schlemmer and Georg Muche to the place of their former activity and reassesses them in their typical navigational manner. The viewers will be placed in an intimate situation with the performers who will introduce them to the myriad images and biographies of the various artists – whereby the viewers will be presented with AR elements that occasionally contradict what they see and hear. In this way, the performance will address Bauhaus-related stories about migration and assimilation. In an age of fake news and alternative facts, the project examines the reliability of historiography and memory, and presents the tech-savvy school of art and design of the Weimar Republic embroiled in countervailing artistic and political currents. In the place of museum-like presentation, the project offers visitors a vibrant adaptation of history with scepticism and respect, thoughtfulness and boundless humour.

Artistic directors: Nicola Hümpel and Oliver Proske
Set design: Andreas Hillger
Dramaturgy: Carl de Poncins, Torsten Maß

Concept / Technics: Oliver Proske
Artistic Director: Nicola Hümpel
Dramaturgy: Andreas Hillger
Artists: Annedore Kleist, Patric Schott, Michael Shapira, Pauline Werner
Software-Engineering / Programming: Lars Löhne
Video Artist / AR Operator: Guillaume Cailleau
Project Coordinator: Torsten Maß
Production: Malin Nagel, Raphael Reher, Leonie Schirra

Bauhaus Today Fund – The Bauhaus 2019 commemorative year funding programme

The Federal Cultural Foundation launched the Bauhaus Today Fund to emphasise the contemporary relevance of the ideas and methods advanced by the historical school of architecture, art and design. We invite institutions in all artistic areas to explore the significance of the Bauhaus today.


  • 26 September, 2019 to 4 October, 2019: Performance

    Georg Kolbe Museum, Berlin

  • 12 September, 2019 to 21 September, 2019: Performance

    Meisterhäuser, Dessau


Nico and the Navigators

Husemannstraße 31
10435 Berlin (external link, opens in a new window)