- -, 2007
- Issue Date:
Based on Walter Gropius's 1919 Bauhaus manifesto, (a foundation text for the Bauhaus), and taking guidance from his call to 'desire, conceive and create the new building of the future together', the question posed in the performance Text Modern was, if the manifesto was to be re-written now, what would it be? What does a manifesto do/mean to the contemporary practitioner? Is it relevant? The idea for Text Modern was to enact a gambling away of Gropius's manifesto and to stage a 'modern' reconstruction of its meaning. Conceived as a performance and staged on the Bauhaus Stage Dessau, 'gamers' were assembled around a 3x3 metre table covered in green velvet cloth. The manifesto was printed on cards and placed face down on the table in a rigid grid formation. An overhead camera was set, framing the border of the table where only the hands of the participants would come into view - the hand, the craft, the co-op. Once started, participants turned over the cards to construct from Gropius's words new compositions for alternative meanings. Not directed to do so, gamers banded together in an anti-capitalist style (no monetary exchange) and worked diligently to craft a ring of sentences, nonsense and non-sentences throughout the table. The project investigated the historical relevance of the manifesto in relation to the contemporary condition of the Bauhaus Dessau where its history is enacted as a relic rather than as a continuing, developing and radicalizing philosophy. The project was conceived in collaboration with Torsten BlÃ¼me and commissioned by the Bauhaus Theatre Dessau.
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