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Inge Mahn

Gropius House || Fictional. Inge Mahn and Sujata Bhatt
Bauhaus Museum Dessau, Dessau
28 June – 20 September 2020

Installation view: Bauhaus Museum Dessau, 2020. © Bauhaus Dessau Foundation. Photo: Yvonne Tenschert
Installation view: Bauhaus Museum Dessau, 2020. © Bauhaus Dessau Foundation. Photo: Yvonne Tenschert

In her work for the Gropius House in Dessau, the sculptor Inge Mahn, born in 1943, starts from an observation she made during her stay in the historical Masters’ Houses as part of the Bauhaus Residence Programme Gropius House || Fictional: The many doors may have been conceived functionally, but sometimes they contradict each other in their everyday use. In a fascinating and humorous way, Inge Mahn thus illuminates the annual theme of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation: "Habitat" refers to living as a cultural practice and not to functional planning, as is often seen as synonymous with the Bauhaus.

Inge Mahn on her work in Dessau:

“The many doors in the house (30 in total!) are somewhat irritating because they are partly contradictory. Of course it is well thought out if every room is connected to the neighbouring room and all rooms are accessible from the corridor, but the idea that several doors are opened by several people at the same time is strange because they could collide”.

The poems of the poet Sujata Bhatt can also be experienced in the exhibition. They refer in many ways to the Masters’ House area, its stories and its former inhabitants. In the sense of an open archive, different versions of the texts provide insights into the working processes and the intensive research in the run-up to their creation.

Both Inge Mahn and Sujata Bhatt will design the interior of the Gropius House and at the same time include the exterior of the former directors’ villa in their exhibition. In this way, the works created here are uniquely linked to the architecture of the Dessau World Heritage Site. Independently of each other, the two fictions are dedicated to the theme of Habitat: Visitors can discover the differences, points of friction and overlaps in both positions, which enter into a fictitious dialogue that was not possible due to the Corona pandemic.

Bauhaus Museum Dessau


Additional:

Inge Mahn

Kabinett Lütze
Galerie Stadt Sindelfingen, Sindelfingen (solo show)
14 March – 30 August 2020

Installation view: Galerie Stadt Sindelfingen, Sindelfingen, 2020. Photo: Benjamin Knoblauch
Installation view: Galerie Stadt Sindelfingen, Sindelfingen, 2020. Photo: Benjamin Knoblauch

Inge Mahn’s works are based on everyday objects and basic constants of architecture. By means of raw modelling, she translates these elements into her own form, placing them in a new context.

Her sculptures explore existing social conditions and discuss political and structural manifestations of power. In addition to this political dimension, Mahn tackles fundamental questions of sculpture. In the often fragile-looking constructions she plays with relations of forces, the moment of falling over and destruction. Her column or stair sculptures do not serve any load-bearing purpose but are instead fragile structures held together partly by ropes and expanding into three-dimensional space. Sitz auf Sitz auf Sitz from 1991, that was added to the LÜTZE collection in 2010, is one such white plaster sculpture consisting of multiple parts. The three “seats” are stacked one on top of the other and rest on a rectangular base. Although the different-sized parts engage in each other in this fragile construct, the different angles and the uneven, rough surface run counter to the harmonious stack of the three seats. Several unique objects merge to create a sculpture that echoes the mediaeval subject of Saint Anne and the Virgin and Child. In this way, the sculptor renders everyday objects individual and couches universal questions of community and individuality in a dynamic artistic form.

Galerie Stadt Sindelfingen