With the project “Open House”, the Bauhaus-Archiv heralds the modernisation and expansion of their building designed by Walter Gropius. Numerous events will be taking place over the next five weeks, offering visitors the opportunity to experience the unique architecture in an artistic setting.

Open for Architecture and Art

The Bauhaus-Archiv / Museum für Gestaltung, Berlin, interior view, 2018 / photo: Hans Glave © Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin
The Bauhaus-Archiv / Museum für Gestaltung, Berlin, interior view, 2018 / photo: Hans Glave © Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin

As the press conference on 20 March 2018 begins in the Bauhaus-Archiv, the snow is falling in Berlin. And even though the view through the now fully gutted building is reportedly even more beautiful in the sunshine, the heavy snowfall has now shrouded the building, freed of all its interior fittings, in a fittingly festive atmosphere. “Open House” is the motto of the final weeks before the renovation, in which the Bauhaus-Archiv / Museum für Gestaltung is offering a wide-ranging – and free – programme that focuses on the artistic exploration of the architecture.

View of the recording booth for the sound art piece “Total Architecture” by Janina Janke and Bill Dietz, installed within the empty museum space, 2018 / photo: Hans Glave, © Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin
View of the recording booth for the sound art piece “Total Architecture” by Janina Janke and Bill Dietz, installed within the empty museum space, 2018 / photo: Hans Glave, © Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin

The sound piece “Total Architecture”, by artists Bill Dietz and Janina Janke, comprises a sound installation and various performances. The contributions are generated through active participation with the project: On the grounds outside the museum, recorded audio tracks can be heard of visitors reading quotations from Bauhaus figures. And inside, “live speakers” invite people to join in the sound performances. In six brief performative implementations, original historical recordings from the archive are interpreted spatially and aurally by the visitors, under the guidance of “live speakers”. It is exciting, for example, to hear a quote from Mies van der Rohe spoken repeatedly in decreasing volume by two groups of visitors. The architecture and its direct relation to the Bauhaus become instantly palpable.

And the Bauhaus Agents are again also playing a big role – two projects will be presented as part of the Agents programme: Under the leadership of choreographer Jo Parkes, students from the Bertolt-Brecht-Oberschule explore the architecture of the Bauhaus-Archiv through dance with their project “Bauhaus moves” and the Plymouth College of Art, where the principle of Bauhaus pedagogy is still practised today, invites the public to participate in four “Bauhaus workshops for all”. On 11 April, a mobile “learning space” developed by fourth graders and high school students together with the ConstructLab artist collective will be opened with contributions from the Paula-Fürst-Schule.

Then, on 29 April 2018, it will be time to say goodbye for a few years, because, on the occasion of the 2019 centenary of the Bauhaus’s founding, the museum is being modernised and expanded by a new building. The programme “Au Revoir” offers diverse opportunities for a special experience of art and space – with yoga, promenade and jazz concerts, musical performances, breakdancing, a poetry slam, films by the international avant-garde, and architectural tours – and it will end with words of farewell from Director Annemarie Jaeggi.

[CG 2018, Translation: DK]