bauhaus imaginista


A major exhibition and two conferences trace transnational relations, correspondences, and narratives of migration, going beyond the years the Bauhaus was active as a school (until 1933). For the first time, the project tracks the translation of Bauhaus concepts into different political and geographical contexts.

The title bauhaus imaginista hints at the imaginative possibilities which were opened up by the Bauhaus, and the multilayered interpretations that the term still denotes today. Between archival findings and contemporary contributions, the project translates the historical perspective into a set of contemporary questions: How, in the spirit of the Bauhaus, might culture be reimagined as a social project today? What kinds of institutions would such a project need? And in what ways does the Bauhaus still stimulate visionary practices and discourses today?

The exhibition places the Bauhaus in context with like-minded schools in other parts of the world. It reflects the artistic exploration of craft techniques, materials, and practices; examines how Bauhaus concepts on socially integrated design were transformed, adjusted, and challenged; and uncovers how the innovative use of media at the Bauhaus influences art and pop culture even today.


Since March 2018, exhibitions, symposia, and workshops in Rabat, Hangzhou, New York, Kyoto, and Tokyo, Moscow, Sao Paulo, Lagos, and Delhi have been realized in collaboration with the Goethe-Institutes and local partners. Now bauhaus imaginista culminates with an expanded overview at HKW.

Curated by Marion von Osten and Grant Watson in collaboration with a team of international researchers and artists.

With works by Anni Albers, Gertrud Arndt, Kader Attia, Lena Bergner, Nandalal Bose, Ahmed Cherkaoui, Alice Creischer, Zvi Efrat, Luca Frei, Walter Gropius, Doreen Mende, Hannes Meyer, Takehiko Mizutani, László Moholy-Nagy, Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Hélio Oiticica, The Otolith Group, Lygia Pape, Paulo Tavares, Iwao Yamawaki, and many more.

Courtesy of Microscope Gallery and Kurt Schwerdtfeger Estate © 2016
Still Undead bauhaus imaginista Kurt Schwerdtfeger Reflektorische Farblichtspiele, 1922 Lichtperformance, Detailfoto des rekonstruierten Apparats von 2016

Curatorial Statement

Today, in the twenty-first century, the question remains of how to reimagine the relationship between the arts and society. The need to radicalize art education as part of this question ran through the twentieth century, and when thinking about the historical Bauhaus an example of radical pedagogy immediately appears.

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Two conferences will reflect the critical potential of the Bauhaus today: In March, political imaginista will discuss strategies of resistance against the new right, questions on internationalism and cultural appropriation, as well as ways of politicizing art, technology, and popular culture. A New School, the second conference in May, will illuminate the impact of the Bauhaus on the development of experimental pedagogy from a transhistorical and transnational perspective.

16.3.2019 political imaginista11./12.5.2019 A New School

Documentation bauhaus imaginista

The film collected recordings presents an overview of the exhibition and event project bauhaus imaginista. It includes footage from 2018 taken in Rabat, Hangzhou, New York, Kyoto, Tokyo, Moscow, São Paulo and New Delhi. The film will be expanded with the chapter Still Undead, produced at the HKW during spring 2019.




Audio guide

A free audio guide can be listened to online using your own smart phone. Please bring your headphones. Otherwise, headphones are available at the box office for 1,50€. Download


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bauhaus imaginsta is a collaboration between the Bauhaus Cooperation Berlin Dessau Weimar, the Goethe-Institut and HKW.

Exhibition | 15.3.-10.6.2019

Haus der Kulturen der Welt
John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10
10577 Berlin

Daily (except Tue) 11am–7pm
Admission 9€/7€
Exhibition guide and second visit included

Mondays and under 16 years of age, berlinpass holders and refugees:
free admission
Groups from 8 persons: 7€/5€ per person

bauhaus imaginista. A School in the World

Marion von Osten and Grant Watson (Ed.)

auhaus imaginista. A School in the World traces the history of the international impact and reception of the Bauhaus’s practices and teachings against the backdrop of major geopolitical transitions of the 20th century. It focuses on the mutual dialog and exchange of the Bauhaus, its students and teachers with non-European modernists in places like India, Japan, China, Russia, Brazil and the United States.

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