As part of the Centennial Anniversary of the Weimar Bauhaus, the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany and Thomas Heyd, Ph.D. of the University of Victoria’s Philosophy Department present architectural images by Berlin photographer Jean Molinar. These photographs display the various facets of Modernist Architecture from Germany and from around the world.
For a decade Jean Molitor travelled the world, inspired to create an extensive photoarchive of Modernist buildings, an endeavour which has been academically supported by the architectural historian Dr. Kaija Voss since 2016. In his project “bau1haus” Molitor made it his goal to document the international influence of the Bauhaus on the development of Modernist architecture. In the process he hoped to capture global connections and cosmopolitan interactions in Modernist structures.
His journey, which began in Weimar, where in 1919 the legendary Bauhaus Art School was founded, took him through all of Europe to Africa, Asia and the Americas. The photo exhibition goes to the places where people have been living among these architectural treasures for decades but may not always recognize them as such. Nearly everywhere there are surprising traces of Modernism: between Berlin and Kabul, Stuttgart and Tel Aviv, St. Petersburg and Havana, in Guatemala or in Bukavu in the Congo, one can find shining exemplars of this unadorned architecture style.
The exhibition puts on display structures that reflect the breadth of “Modernist building” styles. It does not focus on architectural icons, such as Dessau’s Master Houses, but instead throws light on those buildings that document the international spirit of the times in its everydayness, such as multi-storied housing, cinemas, schools, settlements, villas and industrial complexes. These images also reflect the pressing concerns of the early twentieth century: new mobility, social housing, urban hygiene, medical services, as well as the demand for education and recreational activities.
High grade black and white photos, cleansed of all distracting detail, allow Molitor to direct a sober regard on the aesthetics of the architecture. As a result of a slightly elevated positioning, the buildings, with their clear lines, curved façades and glass corners, almost seem to float in timelessness.
Date: Thursday, 26 March – 9 April 2020, in front of Room 129
Venue: University of Victoria, Mearns Centre for Learning - McPherson Library, Room 129, 3800 Finnerty Rd, Victoria