Bauhaus Dessau

Human-Space-Machine. Stage Experiments at the Bauhaus – Exhibition 2013/2014

The Bauhaus stage was established by Walter Gropius in 1921 with the aim of investigating the “mechanical and organic body” in the context of space, movement, form, colour, light and sound. It was directed by Lothar Schreyer until 1923, when it was taken over by Oskar Schlemmer. He had a lasting impact, not only on events on the Bauhaus stage in Dessau, but also far beyond.

Which utopian ideals motivated this work on the “new human being”? What kind of modern man did the Bauhaus envisage would inhabit this world defined by technology? And what did he expect of it? What happens to the heart and soul, the mind and body, the individuality of a human when he and his environment are defined, rationalised and standardised by technological, mathematical and scientific parameters? Might his sensibilities and creativity, his productiveness and life energy, be enhanced by technological appliances? 

The memory of the horrors of the First World War and the devastating power of the newly implemented military technologies were still fresh, and established the setting for a deep-seated insecurity. Many of the Bauhauslers had experienced the war machine as soldiers. Nevertheless, they believed in technological progress as the harbinger of a better life. For precisely this reason, the aim was to find a new place for the human being in a technological everyday living environment, to explore his new possibilities of movement and perception, and not least to find new symbols and images for that ambivalent “essence” of the “new human being”, defined equally by nature and technology.

Now for the first time, the Bauhaus stage and its major protagonists Walter Gropius, Oskar Schlemmer and László Moholy-Nagy form the focus of a comprehensive exhibition of products, designs and concepts demonstrating how the Bauhaus stage was able to invent the symbols and images of a new, modern subjectivity.

  • In order to explore the reasons why the Bauhaus stage still fascinates and inspires us today, HANNAH HURTZIG, DARIA MARTIN and LIGNA were invited to adopt an artistic position on this in the form of an epilogue.
  • The exhibition includes work by the following: Josef Albers, Marcel Breuer, Erich Consemüller, T. Lux Feininger, Walter Gropius, Karla Grosch, Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack, Johannes Itten, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Manda von Kreibig, László Moholy-Nagy, Lucia Moholy-Nagy, Farkas Molnár, Erwin Piscator, Xanti Schawinsky, Oskar Schlemmer, Joost Schmidt, Kurt Schmidt, Lothar Schreyer, Kurt Schwerdtfeger, Werner Siedhoff, Kurt Teltscher, Andor Weininger and others

  • 6th DECEMBER 2013 – 21st APRIL 2014
    daily 10 am – 5pm
  • O P E N I N G: 5th December 2013, 7 pm 


  • 6/7 December 2013
  • Installations and Performances:
    Hannah Hurtzig, Daria Martin and Billur Turan, Ligna, Pia Rönnicke and others
  • Lectures:
    Johanna Dombois, Karin Harrasser, Stefan Kaegi, Juliet Koss, Ivan Liska, Jienne Liu, Helmar Schramm, Melissa Trimingham and others

I N   S P I T E   O F   T H E   N I G H T

Bauhaus-Party, 7th December 2013, 8 p.m. with:

  • Phil Collins, Daniela Kinateder, Simon Will with students from the Academy of Media Arts, Cologne (KHM): Sanaz Azizi, Ale Bachlechner, Marat Beltser, Minjung Cho, Kate Dervishi, Tzeshi Lei, Axel Pulgar, Felix Zilles-Perels.
  • Lighting and Sound: Michael 'Kille' Killman. Costume: Stanislava at Vintage Emde, Cologne. Design: Stefan Ramírez Pérez.
  • Video: Casey Raymond. Photography: Jessica Balla.
  • Twelve Roses (Video Archive): Ale Bachlechner, Benjamin Ramírez Pérez, Stefan Ramírez Pérez

E V E N T S    P R O G R A M M E

The exhibition will be accompanied by workshops, performances and screenings.

F O L L O W - U P   E X H I B I T I O N   V E N U E S 

  • 29. May 2014 to 14 September 2014, Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Høvikodden, Norway
  • October 2014 to January 2015, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea


  • Catalog: Human-Space-Machine- Stage. Experiments at the Bauhaus
  • Magazine: bauhaus 6 "Schlemmer!"
  • DVD: Edition Bauhaus: Stage and Dance

An exhibition project of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation in cooperation with Henie Onstad Kunstsenter Høvikodden, National Museum of Contemporary Art Seoul, Goethe Institut, absolut MEDIEN, Akademie der Künste, Berlin, Anhaltisches Theater Dessau, Kurt Weill Fest, SENAC University Center Sao Paulo, Theaterwissenschaftliche Sammlung of the University of Cologne, Xanti Schawinsky Estate.

Supported by the Federal Cultural Foundation and Lotto-Toto Saxony-Anhalt, the Ernst von Siemens Art Foundation, and the British Council.


  • Art direction:
    Torsten Blume, Christian Hiller
  • International co-curators:
    Milena Hoegsberg, Lars Mørch Finborud, Jienne Liu
  • Curatorial advisor:
    Philipp Oswalt
  • Curatorial-research assistance:
    Christin Krause and Nicole Minten-Junge
  • Trainee Exhibition Management: Tim Leik