Judith Raum: Raveled Fabrics

, Lightbox Gallery, Harvard Art Museums

Judith Raum, Still image from the video Taking Turns on the Same Loom, 2017. Image: Courtesy of the artist. © 2017 Judith Raum. Textile pictured is Gunta Stölzl, Tapestry, 1922–23. Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, Association Fund, BR49.669. © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.

Lightbox Gallery, Harvard Art Museums

Historically overlooked, the Bauhaus weaving workshop was a site of technical innovation, artistic expression, and theoretical inquiry. Judith Raum places the workshop and its predominantly female weavers at the center of two films on view in the Lightbox Gallery.

Archival photographs and close-ups of fabrics show the material and structural complexity that Bauhaus weavers achieved while also relating these tactile qualities to the institutional politics and aesthetics of their time. Raum’s films are a result of her extensive research on Bauhaus fabrics in European archives and here at Harvard’s Busch-Reisinger Museum, which houses the largest Bauhaus collection outside Germany.

A Berlin-based artist and author, Raum creates installations and presents lecture-performances based on archival research and investigations into social and economic history. She made the films in this exhibition as part of a larger project on the Bauhaus weaving workshop, Bauhaus Space (2017), commissioned by Germany’s ifa Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen for the exhibition The Event of a Thread. Selected wall hangings and fabrics pictured in the films are featured in the exhibition The Bauhaus and Harvard, on view at the Harvard Art Museums from February 8–July 28, 2019.

Judith Raum: Raveled Fabrics is presented in the Lightbox Gallery, an experimental space for digital research and development at the Harvard Art Museums. Developed in collaboration with faculty, staff, students, and visiting artists, projects in the Lightbox Gallery challenge how we document, share, and examine collections and collections data. Some of these projects are responsive, allowing users to navigate and manipulate the collections; others are cinematic, transforming the museums into a landscape of digital performance.

Online Resources

Watch Judith Raum present a lecture-performance evoking the figure of Bauhaus weaver Otti Berger, in conjunction with the opening celebration of The Bauhaus and Harvard held on February 7, 2019.

A comprehensive digital resource launched in 2016 provides access to the museums’ more than 32,000 Bauhaus-related objects and shares scholarship on the school’s extensive ties to Harvard and the Greater Boston area.