Back to top

The Whole World a Bauhaus

The Bauhaus was founded 1919 in Weimar, Germany. Between the spirit of renewal of the Weimar Republic and the threatening rise of National Socialism, the Bauhaus established itself in just 14 years and became a symbol of modern design and an avant-garde way of life.

How did the Bauhaus manage to become such an innovative force in design and teaching, and in society? The exhibition »The Whole World a Bauhaus« is devoted to this theme in two parts.

An exhibition of the ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) in collaboration with ZKM (Zentrum für Kunst und Medien Karlsruhe). Supported by the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts, Baden- Württemberg. As part of 100 years Bauhaus.
The exhibition title is programmatic: The Whole World a Bauhaus is a quotation from Bauhaus student and teacher Fritz Kuhr (1928). It alludes to the fact that the Bauhaus redefined the parameters of art, crafts, and technology, when Walter Gropius declared the aim of design to include the whole spectrum of design and also social practice in every sense.

The Whole World a Bauhaus is divided into eight different chapters, each focusing on an aspect of work and life at the Bauhaus between 1919 and 1933. The section on “Floating” explores the Bauhaus interest in motifs of weightlessness and also looks at how glass and skeleton frameworks de- materialized architecture, or how the cantilever chair resting on air became symbolic of an entire design movement. The chapter on “Experiment” presents objects that were the result of new research into materials and space, and whose dimensions, proportions, and testing of materials were also designed to make mass production possible. While the “Total Work of Art” looks at the synthesis of all the arts, and also of art and science and of art and life, the chapter on “Community” presents key objects documenting everyday life at the Bauhaus, including the famous parties.

The chapter “New Man” shows that the Bauhaus was not just based on utopian left- wing politics, but also explored other radical new political and philosophical identities. The chapter “Art, Crafts, Technology” presents the Bauhaus workshops and the products they made, while “Radical Pedagogy” looks at the organisation of the Bauhaus and its teaching practice. Crosscultural relations are explored in the chapter entitled “Encounters”. Cultural relations were encouraged at the Bauhaus through lectures, numerous visitors from around the world, the diverse collections of the Bauhaus Library, and also in the search for new forms in design.

In the second part, these topics are taken up and their reception is present- ed in a global context. Here, the title served as a research commission to curators and scholars. The Whole World a Bauhaus shows case studies from Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Casablanca, Santiago de Chile, Calcutta, Moscow, Montevideo and the USA. The focus here is not on the history of migration after the closure of the Bauhaus in 1933, but on appropriation and transcultural references during the 1920s. Thus, this department explores global connections within modernity, through which the Bauhaus gained in importance. This makes it clear that it was not an exclusive enterprise, but that in many parts of the world there were avantgardes who saw themselves as motors of a new social, cultural, and political development and regarded the Bauhaus from their own perspectives and integrated it into their discourses.

In June 2018, the show celebrated its premiere in Buenos Aires and will then tour Argentina and Mexico before being shown at the ZKM in Karls- ruhe in 2019.

»Die ganze Welt ein Bauhaus«
Kurator: Boris Friedewald

»Die ganze Welt ein Bauhaus?«
Künstlerische Leitung: Valérie Hammerbacher (ifa)
Regional-KuratorInnen: Enrique X. de Anda Alanis, Silvia Fernández, Salma Lahlou, David Maulen, Kaiwan Mehta, Christiane Post, Sana Tamzini

Szenographie: Studio Ilke Penzlien mit Peter Kortmann und Robert Müller
Graphik: HIT
Die ganze Welt ein Bauhaus. Grafik: HIT
Suitable for families

49.001798, 8.383166