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Exhibition Report – »Tracking Talents«

Michael Neubauer visited the exhibition »Tracking Talents« at the Kunstgewerbemuseum Berlin where 39 fashion design students of the Kunsthochschule Weißensee together with the University of Trier, the French art colleges ESAA Duperre Paris and Esmod Paris as well as the Apolda Europeen Design Award displayed their designs until August 2019 where the influence of the Bauhaus is clearly noticeable. You can find a short report here in sisterMAG.

  • Text: Michael Neubauer

Exhibition Report

»Tracking Talents«

One hundred years ago, Walter Gropius opened the Bauhaus in Weimar. His vision of founding a school that would get people interested in new, forward-looking ideas after the catastrophic events of the First World War led to a movement that continued to have an effect until today – far beyond the 14 years of its existence. With revolutionary vigour, well-known, famous painters, architects, designers, interior decorators, engineers and craftsmen started to develop an overall concept for construction, furnishing and life with and for each other. The success was great — a standard for many things emerged that everything that followed had to be measured by.

Today, 100 years later, we have deliberately or unconsciously applied and accepted many ideas from the Bauhaus school. But even after 100 years, the Bauhaus concept of connecting the different trades, be it art or craftsmanship, in their ideas and their work, is fascinating for us. It is only in this way that thoughts could have been transferred into practise and suggestions of several people become whole.

The Berlin art academy Weißensee, together with the Trier University of Applied Sciences, the French art academies ESAA Duperre Paris and Esmod Paris and the Apolda European Design Award, followed these ideas and designed the exhibition »Tracking Talents« from June to the beginning of August in the culture forum Berlin, together with the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.

It was not a fashion fair! All the exhibited projects presented designs from the students of these academies without thinking of commercialisation. The exhibition showed the diverse and creative ideas of the young artists but also demonstrated the handling of textiles and materials and their implementation into a fashionable design. The »Bauhaus idea« materialised in multi-day workshops in a close collaboration with textile manufactories in Apolda or the textile institute in Chemnitz. Idea and practise met here. In a common struggle, a leathery material emerged from shale and heat that would be ideal for fashionable bags. An »old« circular knitting machine in Chemnitz created patterns in up to 60 different colours, thanks to the creativity of a Weißensee master student. The Bauhaus was also present when the workshops encouraged the mutual exchange of the participants, showing the usage of technical and digital work equipment and providing future graduates with contacts and applications.

The 39 students designed 50 models of incredibly diverse creations: wearable, created with fantasy, daring, status-relevant, machine-knitted, woven, waisted and hiding the figure. Position was taken to everything – be it leather, wool, linen, silk, cotton, foil or even shale. A room-size image of the Apolda leather workshop showed the room and demonstrated the interaction of design and craftsmanship.

One would like to shout out to the young fashion designers: Yes, it’s a pleasure to find so much creative interest in fashion in Germany. Keep it up, please!