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March 11 & April 22, 2019

Film by Design. Bauhaus and the Moving Image

In conjunction with the Bauhaus Centennial, this film series will reconstruct how members of the Bauhaus—one of the most progressive art, architecture and design schools in the early 20th century—actively engaged with moving images between the years 1919 and 1933. It explores a vibrant field of experimentation with a medium that has long remained marginal in the accounts of the Bauhaus by tracing how artists, architects, designers, weavers, typographers and photographers turned to film both as a new mode of artistic expression and as a tool of design: film sketches, abstract animations, cinematic form sequences, and colored lightplays emerged at the Bauhaus alongside new attempts to create an architectural film—or what Walter Gropius often referred to as “Bauhaus film”—that would capture the new architecture through the medium of moving images. Further fostering the school’s multi-faceted engagement with film, Bauhäusler simultaneously began to experiment with celluloid strips as a light, elastic and flexible material for design studies in the preliminary course; they incorporated sheets of celluloid in photocollages, costume designs and furniture coatings; and made frequent use of filmstrips for posters, flyers, book covers and other objects within their visionary advertising and exhibition designs.

Conceived as a five-part film series in collaboration with the exhibition The Bauhaus and Harvard at the Harvard Art Museums, the two programs presented will shed light on some of the most overlooked aspects within the Bauhaus’ wide-ranging engagement with film. The first focuses on pieces by female Bauhäusler and women artists who worked in the immediate Bauhaus circles. It traces a significant shift from their largely uncredited animation work for well-known avant-garde filmmakers in the mid-1920s to their active part in shaping a socio-critical architectural cinema in the early 1930s. The second program moves beyond the Bauhaus years and presents a spectrum of films by former Bauhäusler and students at the School of Design in Chicago (formerly known as the New Bauhaus, founded by László Moholy-Nagy). Ranging from cinematic studies of nature’s forms, abstract animations and visual music experiments to a playful documentary of student work at the School of Design, this program elucidates how film experiments in the post-Bauhaus years remained closely tied to the Bauhaus’ ongoing pursuit of new forms of art, architecture and design.

Providing a background for these (post-)Bauhaus film experiments, the three programs presented at the Harvard Art Museums reconstruct three crucial “film years” at the Bauhaus—the Bauhaus Week in Weimar in 1923, the Dessau Inauguration in 1926 and the Bauhaus’ Metal Party in 1929. Each of these programs offers a panorama of films that were projected at these pivotal events or made at the Bauhaus at that time. They show how Bauhäusler’s fascination with film went far beyond the realm of abstract animations and architectural films by including scientific films, time-lapse experiments, movement studies and advertising films, which posit film as a pivotal medium for the study of the transformation of form at the Bauhaus. – Laura Frahm, Associate Professor of Visual and Environmental Studies

Before each screening, guests are invited to visit the Bauhaus and Harvard exhibition at the Harvard Art Museums from 6–7pm. Please enter the museums via the entrance on Quincy Street.

The other film programs in the series take place at the Harvard Art Museums’ Menschel Hall, Lower Level at 6pm:

February 28: Part 1 – Bauhaus Week, Weimar, August 1923
March 28: Part 2 – Inaugural Festivities, Bauhaus Dessau, December 1926
April 18: Part 3 – Metal Party, February 1929

Please enter the museums via the entrance on Broadway. Doors will open at 5:30pm. Free admission, but seating is limited. Tickets will be distributed beginning at 5:30pm at the Broadway entrance. One ticket per person. Following each screening, guests are invited to visit the Bauhaus and Harvard exhibition on Level 3 until 8pm.

Curated by Laura Frahm.

Special thanks: Karin Oehlenschläger and Marina May—Goethe Institut, Boston; Bundesarchiv, Abt. Filmarchiv; Deutsche Kinemathek; Anita Metelka and Rene Engelmann—Akademie der Künste, Berlin; Molly Ryan—Harvard Art Museums; Christiane Stahl—Alfred Ehrhardt Stiftung; Sünke Michel; Martón Grosz and Hattula Moholy-Nagy.

 

 

 


Introduction by Laura Frahm
Live Musical Accompaniment by Robert Humphreville

Monday March 11 at 7pm

Woman with a Camera: Female Filmmakers from the Bauhaus

Symphonie Diagonale

Directed by Viking Eggeling and Ré Soupault
Germany 1924, 16mm, b/w, 7 min

 

Lichtspiel, Opus III

Directed by Walter Ruttmann and Lore Leudesdorff
Germany 1924, 16mm, b/w, 3 min

 

Lichtspiel, Opus IV

Directed by Walter Ruttmann and Lore Leudesdorff
Germany 1925, 16mm, b/w, 4 min

 

Spiel der Wellen

Directed by Walter Ruttmann, Julius Pinschewer and Lore Leudesdorff
Germany 1926, 35mm, b/w, 5 min

 

Where Do the Elderly Live? (Wo wohnen alte Leute?)

Directed by Ella Bergmann-Michel
Germany 1931, video, b/w, 13 min

 

The Jobless Cook for the Jobless (Erwerbslose kochen für Erwerbslose)

Directed by Ella Bergmann-Michel
Germany 1932, 35mm, b/w, 9 min

 

Flying Merchants in Frankfurt (Fliegende Händler in Frankfurt a.M.)

Directed by Ella Bergmann-Michel
Germany 1932, 35mm, b/w, 21 min

 

Heiterer Tag auf Rügen (Joyful Day on Rügen)

Directed by Ellen Auerbach
Germany 1931, digital video, b/w, 3 min

 

Tel Aviv

Directed by Ellen Auerbach
Germany 1934–35, digital video, b/w, 12 min

 

TRT: 77 min

Before each screening, guests are invited to visit the Bauhaus and Harvard exhibition at the Harvard Art Museums from 6–7pm. Please enter the museums via the entrance on Quincy Street.

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Introduction by Laura Frahm
Monday April 22 at 7pm

Light Plays, Form Plays: Film Experiments After the Bauhaus

Light Machine

Directed by László Moholy-Nagy, Nathan Lerner and György Kepes
Germany 1942-43, digital video, b/w, silent,
3 min

 

Corals – Sculptures of the Sea
(Korallen Skulpturen der Meere)

Directed by Alfred Ehrhardt
West Germany 1964, digital video, b/w, 12 min

 

Dance of the Shells
(Tanz der Muscheln)

Directed by Alfred Ehrhardt
West Germany 1956, digital video, b/w, 15 min

 

Allegro

Directed by Larry Janiak
US 1960, digital video, color, 3 min

 

Design Workshops

Directed by László Moholy-Nagy
US 1944, digital video, color, 36 min

 

Night Driving

Directed by Millie and Morton Goldsholl
US 1957, DCP, color, 4 min

DCP courtesy Chicago Film Archives

Lens Distortion #10

Directed by Millie and Morton Goldsholl
US ca. 1971, digital video, color, silent, 4 min

 

Intergalactic Zoo

Directed by Millie and Morton Goldsholl
US 1964, DCP, color, 4 min

DCP courtesy Chicago Film Archives

Do Not Disturb

Directed by László Moholy-Nagy
US 1946, digital video, color, 20 min

 

TRT: 101 min

Before each screening, guests are invited to visit the Bauhaus and Harvard exhibition at the Harvard Art Museums from 6–7pm. Please enter the museums via the entrance on Quincy Street.

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