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Works by Sujata Bhatt and Inge Mahn on view at Gropius House
Sujata Bhatt, "Paul Klee's House, Dessau". "Gropius House || Fictional. Inge Mahn and Sujata Bhatt", 26.6.2020. © Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau. Photo: Caroline Jansky.

DESSAU.- The new exhibition of the Bauhaus Residency, entitled Gropius House || Fictional, is on view until 20 September 2020 in the Directors' House of the ensemble of the Masters’ Houses in Dessau. The poet Sujata Bhatt and the sculptor Inge Mahn have created new works for the interior and exterior of Gropius House. In a unique way, their works Paul Klee's House, Dessau and Dwelling relate to the architecture of the World Cultural Heritage Site in Dessau and the annual theme of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation Habitat.

Sujata Bhatt: Paul Klee’s House, Dessau
The poet Sujata Bhatt has dealt frequently and for many years with a renowned artists’ colony in the history of culture: Worpswede near Bremen. With the Masters’ Houses in Dessau, Sujata Bhatt has now dedicated herself to the perhaps most famous artists’ colony of the 1920s. In the newly created poems, Bhatt examines in particular the relationship between animals, human beings, and architecture.

Visitors are invited to take three new poems by Sujata Bhatt with them on their way through the Masters’ Houses and to explore them along with the poems themselves. In Gropius House, the poet also provides insights into her work process for the first time with handwritten versions of the texts. In the garden of Gropius House, Sujata Bhatt presents some results of her intensive research, which also shape her work process in addition to the sensual experience on site. In the exhibition, the passages that she selected from Paul Klee’s diaries thus become a sort of third voice, which makes reference to the Bauhaus Master’s house at the other end of the ensemble.

Inge Mahn: Dwelling
In her work for Gropius House in Dessau, the sculptor Inge Mahn started from something she observed during her stay in the historic Masters’ Houses: ‘The many doors in the house (over thirty in total!) are somewhat confusing because they contradict each other to some extent. Naturally, it is well thought out when each room is connected with the neighbouring room and all the rooms can be reached from the hallway, but the idea of several doors being opened by several people at the same time is strange because they might collide,’ as Mahn describes her experience.

The many doors that also once existed in the original Gropius House, which was destroyed in 1945, were not realized anew as part of the reconstruction of the ensemble of Masters’ Houses in 2014: for the use as an exhibition building, the choice was intentionally made to not recreate the original layout. In her installation in Gropius House, Inge Mahn, so to say, throws the no longer existing doors out of the house once again and makes them visible at the same time—albeit in an alienated way and abstracted in plaster.

Inge Mahn (born in Teschen, today Cieszyn, Poland, in 1943) was a master student of Joseph Beuys at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and taught sculpture herself for decades, most recently at the Kunsthochschule Weißensee, Berlin. Since participating in the documenta 5 in Kassel in 1972, her works have been exhibited round the world.

The poet Sujata Bhatt (born in Ahmedabad in 1956) grew up in India and the United States and studied at the University of Iowa. She has been living in Bremen for many years. Her poems move based on her biography—between continents and different cultures and languages. Having received many awards, her texts are read as part of the school curriculum in Great Britain and many Commonwealth nations.

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