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The Bauhaus Has Never Been Modern

The Bauhaus Has Never Been Modern

Lecture by T’ai Smith, October 26 at 6pm

The Bauhaus, we have been told, represents all that is modern; the Bauhaus has appeared to be the exemplar of modernity and modernism. But such an assumption is rooted in what Bruno Latour would identify as the contradiction that pervades the modernist enterprise—a fundamental disjunction between its aim of rationality and the actuality of modern experience. As the planet is flooded with stuff, as modern furniture and textiles flood landfills with waste, as CO2 is released into the atmosphere while more modern stuff is produced, we need to rethink the idea that the Bauhaus was ever modern. This talk will reexamine the discourse of the Bauhaus and its commodity legacy in order to consider what the Bauhaus might offer as an alternative in the face of ecological crisis.

In conjunction with the exhibition Textile Subtexts at Marabouparken Art Gallery, T’ai Smith will consider the (gendered) labour and outsourcing of textiles, but also the possibilities that textile techniques and concepts, as initially investigated at the Bauhaus and later by artists in the 60s and 70s, might offer as we seek to reinvent the values that subtend art, economy, and philosophy.

In collaboration with Iaspis, the Swedish Arts Grants Committee’s international programme for Visual and Applied Artists.

The lecture will be in English and is included in the admission fee, 50sek.

T’ai Smith will also be lecturing at Konstfack, University College of Arts, Craft and Design on October the 28th. See more on Konstfack’s website  

T’ai Smith is Associate Professor in the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. She is author of Bauhaus Weaving Theory: From Feminine Craft to Mode of Design (University of Minnesota Press, 2014), her articles have appeared in Art Journal, Art Practical, Grey Room, Journal of Modern Craft, Texte zur Kunst, and Zeitschrift für Medien- und Kulturforschung. She is currently drafting a book manuscript titled Fashion After Capital: Frock Coats and Philosophy From Marx to Duchamp.