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The Bauhaus Idea and Bauhaus Politics

Éva Forgács

Chapter 12. The Part Versus the Whole

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THE PROCESSES that took place In the Bauhaus after 1923 became increasingly crystallized around the ideal of the 'perfect technician'. It is obvious that by this time the meanings of the words individuum and collective - at least in their everyday usage - had altered in a way closely related to the new worldview and value system emerging at the Bauhaus. In 1918-19 the word individuum referred to bourgeois narrow-mindedness and egotism, against which the artist/intellectual, striving for social-cultural rebirth, set up the ideal of a utopian collective, albeit this Ideal was interpreted in various ways by various groups. As we have seen, the Bauhaus ideal at the outset was a creative community based on the internal egalitarianism of shared tasks, in temporary sequestration from the rest of society - an experimental workshop that would transform itself into a workable prototype before rejoining the rest of society. This Utopian goal was in part invalidated by the changed times, and in...

© Central European University Press, 1995

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