Gropius House || Fictional
Sofia Dona, Mara Genschel and Andrea Acosta
Exhibition of the Bauhaus Residency
Sofia Dona and Mara Genschel
8 July – 12 Sep 2021
8 July – 14 Nov 2021
daily 10 am – 5 pm
Over the past weeks and months, the artists Sofia Dona and Andrea Acosta as well as the writer Mara Genschel have dealt intensively with the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Masters’ Houses in Dessau from the perspective of infrastructures, the annual theme of the Bauhaus Dessau. The result is new, impressive works that bring the often hidden foundations of everyday life to light. In terms of content, they are devoted to the playful to brutal relationship between man and animal, the claimed mastery of the historical building and the stones with which the master houses were once built.
Artworks and artistic processes create specific, new accesses to the world and are fictional in this sense: the term is derived from the Latin verb ‘fingere’ and means nothing else than ‘forming, shaping, conceiving’. 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 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?
Sofia Dona works on interventions in space as an architect using the means of art. With targeted interventions in the architecture and structures on site, she creates forms of alienation that enable us to perceive the seemingly familiar anew. During her residency in Schlemmer House, Dona dedicated herself in particular to hunting, which attempts to achieve a balance in nature and thus asserts an infrastructural character itself.
Gamekeepers reflects the relationship between hunter and hunted, human and animal, power and powerlessness in a playful way. The hunter usually shoots the animal, which is subsequently presented mounted as a trophy, from an elevated hide. In Gropius House, however, the elevated hide itself becomes the trophy on the wall and greets visitors from directly over the entrance.
In her previous works, Mara Genschel has repeatedly interrogated the established forms and requirements of literature anew. Her texts and performances find new possibilities for producing and perceiving literature based on processes from visual art and contemporary music. Genschel’s publications thus go beyond what we are generally familiar with from publishing houses. They disrupt the practiced gaze.
Genschel found the starting point for her new work in Gropius House in the brochures mediating the historical buildings and the programme of the foundation laid out for visitors by the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation. Pretending to be in Dessau takes up this textual infrastructure of the exhibition and multiplies the number of brochures laid out.
A programme in cooperation with Literaturhaus Berlin and Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Leipzig.