In conjunction with the exhibition Bauhaus 1919–1933: Workshops for Modernity (November 8, 2009–January 25, 2010), Bauhaus Lab is a new interactive space that reimagines the historic Bauhaus classrooms in which students and teachers of many forms of art experimented with innovative pedagogical approaches. Led by artists, educators, and art historians, an ongoing series of hands-on art-making workshops offers participants of all ages the opportunity to engage in techniques and processes integral to the Bauhaus, such as drawing, collage, graphic design, color theory, and mechanical construction.

László Moholy-Nagy (instructor at the Bauhaus from 1923 to 1928) believed photography complicated the distinction between art and daily life, between technology and expression, and, most importantly, between the “real” and representation. In his 1932 text “The New Instrument of Vision,” he outlined “eight varieties of photographic vision.” The first and arguably the most central varieties are “Abstract seeing by means of direct records of forms produced by light: the photograms” and “Exact seeing by normal fixation of the appearance of things: reportage.” This workshop encourages participants to explore realism without representation—in other words, to create works that are not, as Nagy said, “imitations of experience” but that “represent the fluctuating play of tensions and forces.” Led by artist and writer Walead Beshty in collaboration with Dexter Sinister, participants make photograms (cameraless photographs) and abstract images that function as reportage (using digital scanners and participants’ own digital cameras). At the end of the workshop, participants may submit illustrations for publication in Dexter Sinister’s project The (First) (Last) Newspaper, a project for the performance biennial Performa ‘09.

This program is free and participation is on a drop-in first-come, first-served basis. All materials, except digital cameras, are provided. Open to adults.

In conjunction with the exhibition Bauhaus 1919–1933: Workshops for Modernity

Most workshops are free and on a first-come, first-served basis.

Spaces are limited for each program. Though we cannot guarantee your place in advance, participants will be admitted on a first-come, first-served basis, beginning twenty minutes prior to the start of each workshop. For each program, spaces are limited to twenty participants. Programs are open to individual participants; school groups cannot be accommodated.

Download the Bauhaus Lab brochure in PDF format (Adobe Acrobat required)

Sign-up for Abstract Reportage Workshops begins at 2:40 p.m. in the Cullman Lobby on the day of the program. Once signed up, visitors are still required to line up twenty minutes before their session begins to ensure their place. Participants are required to stay for the duration of the two-hour program.