Learning Programme lecture REGINA BITTNER + Film screening: Fully Awake: Black Mountain College 15/03/16, 18.00 h

Watch the presentation here (pdf)

Regina Bittner, 15 March, 19.00 hours

KU Leuven Campus Sint-Lucas Brussels
Paleizenstraat 65, 1030 Brussels

How do you acquire knowledge?

Regina Bittner is cultural theorist and curator, has studied cultural theory and art history at the University Leipzig and received her PhD from the Humboldt University of Berlin. She is the head of the Bauhaus Kolleg and holds since 2009 the position of the associate director of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation. She has curated various exhibitions on the history of classical modernism and on urban cultural history. In her research she has focussed on urban ethnography, transnational modernism, global urban culture as well as heritage studies. She has published numerous articles and books, is guest lecturing in international conferences as well as participating in juries and curatorial boards. Recently she has curated together with Kathrin Rhomberg the exhibition “The Bauhaus in Calcutta. An encounter of transcultural Avantgarde”


Fully Awake: Black Mountain College;

by Cathryn Davis Zommer and Neeley House

color, 60 min, 2008

Hidden in the mountains of Western North Carolina, Black Mountain College (1933 – 1957) was an influential experiment in education that inspired and shaped twentieth century American art.

Fully Awake: Black Mountain College is a documentary film that explores the college’s progressive pedagogy and radical approach to arts education. Highly democratic and faculty-owned, the school promoted practical responsibilities and the creative arts as equally important components to intellectual development.

During WWII, Black Mountain College was a haven for refugee European artists such as Josef and Anni Albers who arrived from the Bauhaus in Germany. In the socially conservative 1940s and 50s, the college also became a refuge for the American avant-garde, (Franz Kline, John Cage, Buckminster Fuller, Merce Cunningham, Robert Creeley, Jacob Lawrence, Willem de Kooning, Robert Rauschenberg, and M.C. Richards). Fully Awake explores how the confluence of this diverse community came together to create a unique educational model.

Through narration, archive photography, and interviews with students, teachers, historians, and current artists, Fully Awake investigates the development of this very special place – the site of Buckminster Fuller’s first geodesic dome, John Cage’s first ‘happening’, and the Black Mountain Review – and how its collaborative curriculum inspired innovations that would change the very definition of “art.” Through probing the legacy of Black Mountain College, Fully Awake points to a progressive pedagogical model that can continue to inspire students today.



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