What does a Latin American favela have to do with an old workers’ settlement in Dessau? What is the connection between a Jewish socialist in a rural commune and the children in a school class in Stockholm? All of these stories concern visions and the practical attempts to make them come true.
Nearly a hundred years ago, a radical artistic utopian was born in a tranquil town in Germany. Founded in 1919 by Walter Gropius, Bauhaus was supposed to unite sculpture, painting, design and architecture into a single combined constructive discipline. It is a combination of liberated imagination and stringent structure; cross-medial concepts that embellish and enrich our existence, illumination and clarity, order and playfulness. Bauhaus constituted one of the most significant contributions to everyday 20th-century culture and influential contemporary designs, and it was never just an artistic experiment. Confronted with the social conditions of that particular time, as well as the experience of the World War I, the movement concerned itself with the political and social connotations of design from the very outset.
Hence, Bauhaus's history is not just the history of art, but also the history of an era that stretches from the early 20th century to the modern day.
The documentary Bauhaus Spirit: 100 Years of Bauhaus
by Niels Bolbrinker
and Thomas Tielsch
describes the fascinating story of the Bauhaus as a statement, but also the failure and renewal of a social utopia. It tells of artists, scientists and architects today, who, in their examinations of current challenges also relate to the Bauhaus. That way, the story of this unfinished utopian project with its manifold exciting cross-references unfolds before our eyes while always keeping in touch with the questions still topical today: How do we want to live, where do we want to go?
Vom Bauen der Zukunft – 100 Jahre Bauhaus
Germany, 2018, 90 min.
Dir. Niels Bolbrinker and Thomas Tielsch
US distributor: Icarus Films
Presented as part of Performa 19