In the 1920s the ensemble of Masters’ Houses in Dessau came to embody the quintessential artist colony of the 20th century. There artists like Walter Gropius, Oskar Schlemmer, Georg Muche, László Moholy-Nagy, Lyonel Feininger, Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee lived side by side with their families. They were joined by friends and guests; soon artist collectives, couples and friendships formed.
For the first time in 90 years, the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation has, since February 2016, opened the Muche / Schlemmer duplex to international artists as a living and working space. The Bauhaus Residency seeks to advance contemporary research and engagement with the legacy of the Bauhaus, revive the Masters’ Houses and, in this context, promote artworks of international significance.
The focus of the residency programme is on the Masters’ Houses, which are not just a reminder of the past but continue to serve as a starting point for contemporary debates and positions. New ideas, experiments and work developed during the residency are all accessible to the public through presentations, studio visits, discussions, concerts and more – even during their initial development.
The programme is aimed at international artists whose work relates to the historical disciplines represented at the Bauhaus and the subsequent developments of these core disciplines – among them painting, product design, textile design, music, theatre, performance, architecture and photography.
The open call is aimed at artists working on their own or collectively (up to a maximum of 5 people). Of particular interest are works that engage and reflect on social contexts in novel ways as well as other approaches to modernity. In the spirit of the programme’s emphasis on the fictional (that is, the shaped, formed and invented), the main focus will be on a critical examination of the working process itself. Therefore the focus is on ways of presenting the processes of art making and development.
A connection to the 2021 theme of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation: ‘Infrastructure’ is also desirable. Infrastructure is the underlying prerequisite for much of modernity, especially in architecture and city planning. The Masters’ Houses stand for such a model of modern comfort, based on the outsourcing of resources and the exploitation of nature. Today, after revealing the multifaceted agencies of infrastructures in the last couple of decades and in the face of climate change on a planetary scale, infrastructural projects are radically questioned in their problematic alliance with epistemologies of development and western universalism.
Bauhaus Dessau Foundation will provide the selected artists with the following for three months:
- Living and work space in the Muche / Schlemmer House.
- An expense allowance for three months of 4800 euros in total.
- Opportunities for giving presentations and performances and engaging in discussions during their stay.
- Support in their research work, in organising events along with technical assistance and public relations activities.
- Public presentations of their work in the Gropius House for a period of up to 6 months.
In consultation with the foundation, the three-month residencies will take place between 14 April and 15 July 2021 or 1 September and 31 November 2021. You are expected to be present in Dessau.