Die Blaue Blume
On the Configuration of Modernistic Utopias
curated by Søren Grammel at Grazer Kunstverein
Avec Saim Demircan (D/UK), Heidrun Holzfeind (A), Katarzyna Kobro (PL), Hilary Lloyd (UK), Vaclav Pozarek (CH/CZ), Lasse Schmidt Hansen (D/DK), Juliane Solmsdorf (D), Florian Roithmayr (UK/D)
At the beginning of the twentieth century, artistic avant-gardes demonstrated that new awareness gives rise to new forms. Some assumed that this process is reversible: from distribution of a form to new general awareness. The construction of a new understanding of space as an allegory of work on a new reality. But when do forms become authoritarian ornaments? Formalisms that organise common mind-sets so as to choreograph society as a mass?
“The Blue Flower” constitutes a space made up of some old and some new artistic works that seek utopia in form and that recognise a yearning for a different reality in abstraction. The starting-point for this essayistic space-ensemble is the attempt to create a carpet, following in the vein of a graphic design by Bauhaus artist Anni Albers. What remains of the idea embodied by this design? Is there a representation of the self beyond its status as social capital? Albers’ carpet and the works surrounding it open up their own angles on the complex connection between formal questions and the desire for a good life, the search for the blue flower.
Then there is a steel strap created in 1920 by the Russian-Polish sculptor Katarzyna Kobor. Albers tapestry was made in the same year, whereby the concept underlying Russian Constructivism is combined with that of the German Bauhaus. More recent compositions are grouped around these two historically succinct pieces of art, which were created as a direct reaction to Albers, or consciously chosen in this context. Among them is Hillary Lloyd's diascopic projection of different variations of colored cardboards. The modernistic discourse which is being held in this objet d'art, refers to the gateway between manual and industrial production, which was considered to be the decisive factor of art- and object composition during the Bauhaus era.