By delving into Schlemmer’s work, the exhibition showcases another—seldom seen—side of the Bauhaus. Beyond the influential art school’s modernist ideas on design and architecture, it was also a place for experimental work in the areas of performance arts and dance. Initially trained as a painter and sculptor, Schlemmer attempted to transfer his ideas of abstraction from these realms into theater and choreography while heading up the theater workshop at the Bauhaus from 1923 to 1929.
Much of his thinking aligned with the Bauhaus commitment to merge art and technology in a humanistic way. “Schlemmer’s experimental dances created a new kind of performance art that worked at the intersection of the spiritual organism of the human being and the imaginary machine,” explains Blume. “His approach created a special friction between the two where something new was supposed to emerge—an inner meaning or vision.”
Unlike the 1920s when these ideas were being pursued, our lives are now steeped in technology. In turn, looking at Schlemmer’s work nowadays is less about searching for a deeper meaning through our relationship with machines, Blume told us, and perhaps more about the joy and vitality of living alongside technical forms and objects.
Oskar Schlemmer. The Dancing Artist runs until January 16th, 2017 at the Centre Pompidou-Metz.
1, Parvis des Droits-de-l’Homme
F-57020 Metz Cedex 1