Isa Rosenberger's art display "Manda" will be displayed in the workshop wing of the Bauhaus Building in Dessau from June 1, 2023 to January 7, 2024.
Rosenberger created the installation as part of her Bauhaus Residency in 2022, during which she explored the Bauhaus Dessau art depot with contemporary dancer Celia Millan. The piece is a cinematic-dance exploration of two underappreciated cultural figures and a fragmented historiography.
The presence of two women at the Bauhaus in 1928 inspired “Manda”: dancer and choreographer Manda von Kreibig, who developed the Stick Dance with Oskar Schlemmer at the Bauhaus, and writer and women’s rights activist Lu Märten. Rosenberger intertwines her historical research with broader and more contemporary questions about museums’ memory and their role in history writing. The installation also includes filmed statements by Bauhaus Dessau Foundation directors Regina Bittner and Barbara Steiner.
The title “Manda” refers not only to Manda von Kreibig, but also to bequest, legacy, or promise in Spanish, indicating Rosenberger’s belief that engaging with the past is a social mission from the dead to the living. A second installation by Rosenberger, “Espiral,” connects Kurt Jooss’ dance theater piece “The Green Table” (1932) with the global financial crisis of 2007/2008.
The exhibition blurs the line between artwork and exhibition display; architecture, work, and performance are all intertwined. Wooden structures, curtains, and furniture are integral to the respective works and also serve as exhibition structuring elements.
Rosenberger’s artistic interest is in historiography, which is the study of the writing of history, including its abbreviations, fade-outs, and rewrites. She frequently explores traces in her filmic-installative works to give space and visibility to the hidden, repressed, and forgotten. She connects her female protagonists’ body knowledge, personal and generation-defining experiences, and past and present sociopolitical events.
Isa Rosenberger, who lives and works in Vienna, has had numerous group and solo exhibitions around the world. She has received the Otto Mauer-Preis and the Outstanding Artist Award for Video and Media Art. Manda” was created in collaboration with the Kunsthaus Graz and was featured alongside six older works in Isa Rosenberger’s most extensive exhibition to date, “Schatten, Lücken, Leerstellen” (Shadows, gaps, voids), in spring 2023.