Open Call – Bauhaus Residency 2021

Joint Open Call
of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation and the
GfZk – Museum of Contemporary Art Leipzig

In the 1920s the ensemble of Masters’ Houses in Dessau came to embody the quintessential artist colony of the 20th century. Here artists like Walter Gropius, Oskar Schlemmer, Georg Muche, László Moholy-Nagy, Lyonel Feininger, Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee lived side by side with their families. They were joined by friends and guests; soon artist collectives, couples and friendships formed.

For the first time in 90 years, the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation has, since February 2016, opened the Muche / Schlemmer duplex to international artists as a living and working space. The Bauhaus Residency seeks to advance contemporary research and engagement with the legacy of the Bauhaus, revive the Masters’ Houses and, in this context, promote artworks of international significance.

The Bauhaus Residency

The focus of the residency programme is on the Masters’ Houses, which are not just a reminder of the past but continue to serve as a starting point for contemporary debates and positions. New ideas, experiments and work developed during the residency are all accessible to the public through presentations, studio visits, discussions, concerts and more – even during their initial development.

The programme is aimed at international artists whose work relates to the historical disciplines represented at the Bauhaus and the subsequent developments of these core disciplines – among them painting, product design, textile design, music, theatre, performance, architecture and photography.

Gropius House || Fictional

Artworks and artistic processes create specific new ways of seeing the world; in this sense, they are fictional. The meaning of fiction is revealing in this regard: originally derived from the Latin verb ‘fingere,’ it means nothing other than ‘to shape, form, invent.’ Fiction thus does not entail first and foremost the creation of a separate world, but can likewise denote shaping the existing world, the real. Fiction is thus also a way to gain distance, to interrogate realities, to see and recognize them anew. 

In their work, artists also explore how meaning and value are constituted in a specific present. What is narrated for what reason and in what way? And what differences, points of friction, and overlays arise when fictions are dedicated to the same topic, but realized by different artists with different means? With a focus on this examination, Gropius House || Fictional presents collective forms of artistic work in various disciplines.

Participation requirements

The Open Call is aimed at artists working on their own or collectively (up to a maximum of 5 people). Of particular interest are works that engage and reflect on social contexts in novel ways as well as other approaches to modernity. In the spirit of the programme’s emphasis on the fictional (that is, the shaped, formed and invented), the main focus will be on a critical examination of the working process itself. Therefore, we are looking for innovative ways of presenting the processes of art making and development. 

A connection to the 2021 theme of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation: “Infrastructure” is desirable. Infrastructure is the underlying prerequisite for much of modernity, especially in architecture and city planning. The Masters’ Houses stand for such a model of modern comfort, based on the outsourcing of resources and the exploitation of nature. Today, after revealing the multifaceted agencies of infrastructures in the last couple of decades and in the face of climate change on a planetary scale, infrastructural projects are radically questioned in their problematic alliance with epistemologies of development and western universalism. 

Application (German or English)

  • Curriculum vitae (of all members of the collective, if more than 2 applicants)
  • A portfolio (with examples representing each member’s work or group work)
  • A proposal of a concrete project that can be completed during the residential period and which has a relation to Bauhaus (maximum of two pages). Preferable is also a reference to the foundation’s topic for 2021 “Infrastructure” and a concept for how to include the production process in the presentation
  • Preferred time of residency (15 April – 15 July or 1 September – 31 November).

Closing date for applications

  • 30 October 2020
  • Email (pdf file, max. 5 MB) to


  • Two collectives/artists will be selected for the year 2021. This will be announced on our Website in December 2020.
  • The jury consists of
    Prof Dr Regina Bittner, director a. i. / Bauhaus Dessau Foundation
    Franciska Zólyom, director and curator / GfZK Leipzig
    Marion von Osten, artist and curator
    Susanne Weiß, curator
    Dr Florian Strob, research associate and curator / Bauhaus Dessau Foundation

The foundation’s performances

Bauhaus Dessau Foundation will provide the selected artists with the following for three months:

  • Living and work space in the Muche / Schlemmer House
  • An expense allowance for three months of 4,800 euros in total
  • Opportunities for giving presentations and performances and engaging in discussions during their stay
  • Support in their research work, in organising events along with technical assistance and public relations activities
  • Public presentations of their work in the Gropius House for a period of up to 6 months

Artists‘ obligations

  • Medical and indemnity insurance
  • Visa
  • Living expenses, provisions
  • With the assistance of Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau, the artists are free to apply for additional external funding for their stay.

Artists-in-Residence time period

In consultation with the foundation, the three-monthly residencies will take place between 14 April and15 July or 1 September and 31 November. You are expected to be present in Dessau.


Bauhaus Dessau Foundation
Bauhaus Residency 
Gropiusallee 38
06846 Dessau-Roßlau, Germany