What happens with an everyday object when it becomes part of a museum collection?
The shift of status and environment is accompanied by a process of categorization within the institutional framework of the museum. Acquisition documents and archive materials are testimonies of that process. In its result, we encounter such an object in a museum labelled with the indication of author, title, year, material, and provenance.
The exhibition takes the very mode of collecting and presenting Bauhaus objects in museums as its point of departure. Whereas art and design historiography focuses on the stylistic classification of objects, Handle with care suggests an alternative approach to study a table designed by Marcel Breuer for the ISOKON Furniture Company in London 1936 and today part of the Bauhaus collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum. By investigating the material stories, social practices, commodity and ownership phases from personal belongings to museum estates, the exhibition critically analyses the various social lives embodied in this object.
The table, made up from standardized elements of cut and bent plywood, inspired the display that unpacks the complex spheres of existence the table experienced.
Research residence @ Bauhaus Dessau Foundation
Conversations around the Table:
Stories about an Enlivened Modern Object
Symposium with Albena Yaneva (Anthropologist and Professor of Architectural Theory at the University of Manchester), Johanna Agerman Ross (Curator of Twentieth Century and Contemporary Furniture and Product Design at V&A Museum), Julia Schäfer (Curator and Art-Educator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Leipzig) e Marcelo Rezende (Head of the Archiv der Avantgarden) and participants Bauhaus Lab.
Participants: Hanan Kataw, Simon Mitchell, Roxanna Brands, Marianna Czwojdrak, Louise Rietvink, Lisa Andreani, Mara Truebenbach and Gabriela Szalanska