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Film by Design at HFA—Light Plays, Form Plays: Film Experiments after the Bauhaus

Courtesy of Harvard Film Archive.


Harvard Film Archive, 24 Quincy Street
Cambridge MA

In conjunction with the Bauhaus centennial, this film series will reconstruct how members of the Bauhaus—one of the most progressive art, architecture, and design schools in the early 20th century—actively engaged with moving images between the years 1919 and 1933. It explores a vibrant field of experimentation with a medium that has long remained marginal in the accounts of the Bauhaus by tracing how artists, architects, designers, weavers, typographers, and photographers turned to film both as a new mode of artistic expression and as a tool of design: film sketches, abstract animations, cinematic form sequences, and colored lightplays emerged at the Bauhaus alongside new attempts to create an architectural film—or what Walter Gropius often referred to as “Bauhaus film”—that would capture the new architecture through the medium of moving images.

As part of the Harvard Art Museums’ film series titled Film by Design: The Bauhaus and the Moving Image and in collaboration with our Bauhaus and Harvard exhibition, the two programs presented at the Harvard Film Archive will shed light on some of the most overlooked aspects within the Bauhaus’s wide-ranging engagement with film.

This second program moves beyond the Bauhaus years and presents a spectrum of films by former Bauhäusler and students at the School of Design in Chicago (formerly known as the New Bauhaus, founded by László Moholy-Nagy). Ranging from cinematic studies of nature’s forms, abstract animations, and visual music experiments to a playful documentary of student work at the School of Design, this program elucidates how film experiments in the post-Bauhaus years remained closely tied to the Bauhaus’s ongoing pursuit of new forms of art, architecture, and design.

Please visit the Harvard Film Archive website for additional information about this program.

Before the screening, guests are invited to visit the Bauhaus and Harvard exhibition at the Harvard Art Museums from 6 to 7pm. Please enter the museums via the entrance on Quincy Street.