»Generationen« by
Kerstin Bruchhäuser

24/08/2024 –


New exhibition series

Art and design in dialogue is the future motto at the Tecta Cantilever Chair Museum. This means that the dream of floating and swinging will take on a new dimension. The idea behind it: to accompany the cantilever chair collection with corresponding artistic interventions.

Opening: Generationen
Three generations, three museum halls, three visionary projects – an idea by generations for generations – and across generations of furniture, chairs, exhibits and designers. In addition to 15 existing works, the Tecta Kragstuhlmuseum is showing three new, room-filling textile objects by Kerstin Bruchhäuser

Monochrome colourfulness

In part of her artistic-scientific dissertation at the Bauhaus University, Hamburg artist Kerstin Bruchhäuser focussed on the history of “white linen”. The dowry that young women received until 1958 to start their own household. Today, she transforms the material from the private-personal sphere into new life in her works and transfers it into a public exhibition context. White linen is a unifying element throughout her exhibits in the three exhibition halls.

Exhibition “You may recognise yourself” in the main church St. Katharinen in Hamburg

Halle 1:
off the ground

Women power for the Bauhaus: In his first speech to the students in Weimar, Walter Gropius promised to make “no distinction between the fairer sex and the stronger sex” and made it clear that everyone was a craftsman at work. However, this approach was soon overtaken by reality: Given the high proportion of female students, the male professors, not least Walter Gropius himself, determined which workshops were suitable for the women. As a result, many of the female students ended up involuntarily in weaving or textile production. A few managed to assert themselves and studied according to their interests in the metal workshop, carpentry or mural painting.

In 1928, Karla Grosch, self-confident and with a short haircut, became the first sports and gymnastics teacher at the Bauhaus Dessau. Alongside the weaver Gunta Stölzl, she was one of the few female teachers. Kerstin Bruchhäuser stages the balancing act of women between departure and retreat. In her two new, floor-to-ceiling works, she presents Karla Grosch, the epitome of the modern, independent woman at the Bauhaus. Inspired by the photographic portraits of women taken by T. Lux Feininger during sports lessons, Kerstin Bruchhäuser creates her textile portraits of Bauhaus women from old trousseau linen. Normal, upside down and jumping – the images of the crutching exercises symbolise the hope for a self-determined time. Will it succeed? Bruchhäuser’s exhibits encourage dialogue.

Halle 2:
remnants rearranged

A textile collage of white linen remnants as an overall social structure – rearranged and viewed from a contemporary perspective. Many small parts make up a large whole and create the balance for a sustainable and expansive work: the large-format Pojagi by Kerstin Bruchhäuser. She “draws” the material for this artistic reflection from remnants of previous works, around one cubic metre of white laundry. The pojagi reveals itself as a female legacy, a metaphor that has become fabric, revealing questions about independence and emancipation, as well as doubts and ambivalence. “The Equal Rights Act of 1958 was not so long ago,” the artist states.

Halle 3:
you may recognize yourself

Is that me? 15 portraits made of white linen, textile objects around three metres high, show contemporary women from the back and invite us to identify ourselves. What might the people portrayed look like from the front? The portraits reflect our ideas and expectations of what is visible, including our own. Modern images of women on traditional white linen. Kerstin Bruchhäuser reflects on the individual characteristics that make a person recognisable and at the same time exposes the serial monotony of clothing and bodies as a socio-cultural phenomenon. Encounter or demarcation between generations? The desire for sameness meets uniformity and at the same time the hope of individuality. A change of perspective, an artistic intervention – captured in white underwear by Kerstin Bruchhäuser.

Kerstin Bruchhäuser

Kerstin Bruchhäuser uses heritage textiles as a medium for her works. The material she uses is respectfully recycled as a carrier of memories and transferred into a new context. In a series of installations in the Tecta Kragstuhlmuseum, new large-format and then small-scale works will be created that illuminate the origin, continued existence and present in the context of the permanent exhibition. Find out more about the work of Kerstin Bruchhäuser on her homepage.