Wednesday, September 28, 2022

BAUHAUS Residency • DOEprojekts in Dessau, Germany

DOEprojekts Art Collaborative, co-directed by Deborah Adams Doering and Glenn N. Doering, received a grant from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) for the 2019-2020 funding cycle, providing support for the Doerings to teach "Bauhaus and Beyond" at the Lenox Hill Community Center in Manhattan, NY. 

Our class highlighted many of the contemporary and international influences and achievements of the innovative art-design school that was founded in Weimar, Germany, in 1919. The school was closed by the Nazis in 1933. But the main Bauhaus campus still exists in Dessau, Germany.  

We had planned to do an artist residency at the Bauhaus-Dessau in the summer of 2020, as experiential and supplemental research for future classes. But then came the COVID pandemic. Our plans were put on hold.

Finally, happily, in Summer 2022, our plan to spend time researching and creating art at Bauhaus-Dessau became a reality! We are delighted to share some of our photos from our residency with our blog readers.

During the first part of our residency, we spent time in various rooms of the Bauhaus main building, designed by architect Walter Gropius, founder and first director of Bauhaus. 

On the left, Glenn is watching a presentation on how the students -- the "Bauhäuslers" -- contributed to the philosophy of the school with its integration of form and function of objects and images. These art-design works were created using new technologies of that time. On the right, Deborah is viewing "wearable art" (aka costumes) designed by Oskar Schlemmer, one of the "master teachers" at Bauhaus. The wearable art works were created using new technical tools and then worn in avant garde performances by both faculty and students. The Bauhaus was a fun place to live, study and experiment!

Not far from the school are the Meisterhäuser, the "Master Teacher Houses." We spent an afternoon touring two of the four houses open to visitors. During the time of the Bauhaus, Walter Gropius lived and worked in the house nearest the school. Unfortunately, his house was totally destroyed in WW2. But it is now being rebuilt, and will become an adjunct Bauhaus museum and study center.

The other houses were shared by "Master Teachers" such as Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee. It was inspirational to view the inside of these creative spaces and learn how Bauhaus teachers inspired and collaborated with each other.

We were especially inspired by both the "modern forms" and the "performative" aspects of many of the Bauhaus works that we saw. In response, we decided to create a series of Bauhaus masks that would reflect our surroundings and integrate our DOEprojekts' Coreforms. 

We worked and stayed overnight in the dormitories of the Bauhaus, the original rooms designed by Gropius and some of his followers. Being in the actual environment formerly lived in by the Bauhäuslers ignited our imaginations!

After several days of dedicated work, we finished our series of Coreform-Bauhaus Masks. We printed one of our masks on several T-shirts. Below (left), we pose on our Bauhaus dormitory balcony wearing our T-shirts. On the right, Glenn waves from our Bauhaus balcony.

Someday, we hope to return to the Bauhaus for a longer artist residency. Until then, great memories of the time we were able to "study, work and play" in Summer 2022 will have to suffice!

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