SOS ’23 Bauhaus Weimar / Black Mountain / NowHere

Project supported by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany

SOS’23 Bauhaus Weimar/ Black Mountain/ NowHere… 

refers to the events of a century ago: the dramatic history of the School of Bauhaus – the first difficult phase of its activity in Weimar, four years after Walter Gropius had founded the School. In 1923, the Thuringian authorities, under political pressure from empowered conservative groups, demanded that the Bauhaus authorities organize an exhibition documenting the school’s (achievements to date through an exhibition of artworks by its masters and students. Walter Gropius and his fellow friends from the school prepared such an exhibition and opened it in July 1923 under the title Werkschau -The Exhibition. A show of visual (graphic) works, objects, textiles and furniture was successful, nevertheless, the Ministry of Education placed the staff only on six-month contracts and cut the school’s funding in half. This was the beginning of the end of the Bauhaus’ time in Weimar. It is important to realize that even though the exhibition did not help politically and it did not secure the future of the School in Weimar, it had a huge impact on the history of arts and humanities in general.

Referring to the ideas accompanying the 1923 Bauhaus exhibition in Weimar and the founding of Black Mountain College in 1933, we propose a series of informal, ephemeral activities, exhibitions and presentations linking past, present and future. We have invited several Polish and German artists, curators, activists and researchers to participate in a multidisciplinary exchange of experiences in the form of online and live meetings, research visits, workshops to eventually create an evolving series of activities, exhibitions and installations in process, presenting documents, site-specific works, utilitarian objects, photographs and works relating to ecological, social and creative issues of our times.

We hope to create a cyclical outdoor and indoor initiative to present a variety of projects in process involving creative communities, art collectives, individual artists, craftsmen, performers, designers, architects and researchers who deal with the themes that seem urgent and relevant now, in 2023.

Report from Activities

Part 1.  August 10- September 16, 2023 – workshops and preparatory activities at the Gropius Granary in Jankowo Pomorskie

A group of Polish and German artists and researchers together with the village inhabitants – both children and their parents have carried free workshops in the village of Jankowo Pomorskie. Referring to the concepts of early creative education of Friedrich Froebel,* Alma Buscher, Oskar Schlemmer, Janusz Korczak and others we will present an idea of Co-Operative Toy Factory named  SOS’23 Start-Up  where recyclable, simple “creative production and on site presentation” will take place.   Simple wooden blocks, found objects, cardboard models, and forms made from recycled materials will act as an inspiration for all “SOS’23 Start-Up “- Articipants: children and adults alike…

(*“What we call today as kindergarten is a diluted form of what was originally an innovative system of education designed in mid-nineteenth-century Germany by the crystallographer Friedrich Froebel. Through his study of crystals, Froebel became convinced that geometric forms could form the basis for a system of education for very young children and could thereby form the foundation for shaping and developing the human mind. Kindergarten—the system he conceived—was literally intended to be a “garden of kinder”—a place where the infant mind could grow and evolve through engagement with the material world.  Froebel created toys: “gifts”—simple pedagogical toys, such as textile balls and wooden blocks and sticks. In contrast to current thinking, Froebel believed that the smallest children should engage with the most abstract ideas; only when they had gained a firm grasp of geometric forms would children be called upon to make representational images.“ Figuring in the Landscape of Ideas Margaret Wertheim)

The workshops we proposed relate to the history of the Froebel toy factory whose simple wooden blocks inspired imagination of future architects: Montessori system of  kindergarten education, designs of Oskar Schlemmer for Triadische Ballet and the wooden toys designed by Bauhaus artist Alma Buscher. Together with artists and researchers from Bamberg and Nurembers, Germany and Szczecin University and Art, we have run simple educational workshops to create toys with the village children and their parents; A local historian Tomasz Choroba has prepared an archival installation on the history of a local toy factory that closed over 20 years ago.We will try to revisit the utopian ideas of creating a local cooperative producing small artifacts, wooden and string toys, and use them for basic workshops on architecture and geometry.

Workshops results: September 17-Pavillion of Memory

photographic and historical documentation / architecture & design presentations

small found objects / art works / ephemeral installations /

performative activities / lectures / DIY workshops

“SOS’23 Start-Up “- Articipants: children and adults alike…

Co-Operative Toy Factory:

Za nami kolejne próby tworzenia efemerycznej fabryki zabawek w duchu recyklingu.

Tym razem artysta David Grimm zaprosił dzieci z Jankowa do wspólnej zabawy i twórczości podczas niedzielnego wydarzenia pod Spichlerzem (Otwarcie Pawilonu Pamięci).

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Projekt finansowany z funduszy:

The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany







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