In this course, we are going to set out in search of brutalist buildings in Berlin and reflect on Brutalism by taking pictures of them: their concrete surface and formal expression will be released through photography and examined as a source of art material.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this course will be facilitated online with a mixture of daily live-sessions and guided tasks to be completed.
The term "brutalism" does not mean the adjective "brutal" but the French "béton brut", the expression used to describe exposed concrete. Brutalist buildings break the familiarity of the conventional formal language. They are concrete memories of the post-war period and represent the utopias of social coexistence.
Only a few architectural styles had such a hard time as brutalism. Experts can't even agree whether one can call it an architectural style at all. Many only see ugly concrete blocks and today several buildings are threatened with demolition. But those buildings were created in a time of experiments and social upheaval. They embody non-compromising, rigor, and radicalism and make architecture a social medium. No historical cement like the Berlin Palace or other fake historical buildings, no standardized investor architecture.
We use an artistic approach to investigate how ethics and aesthetics may become prerequisites for any architect. That facade or technology never creates style, but only the artistic handling of it. The result of this workshop would be a photographic approach to architecture between everyday life, poetry, and theory.
Stephanie Kloss, born in Karlsruhe. She lives and works as a visual artist in Berlin. She studied Architecture at the Berlin Technical University (diploma), and Media Art at Karlsruhe University of Art and Design under Marie-Jo Lafontaine and Günther Förg, as well as Photography under Thomas Struth and Candida Höfer. Stephanie Kloss’s photographic works deal with sociological, political, and spatial phenomena. In her recent works, the subject of power is the central part. She had many solo and was part of numerous group exhibitions. Along with her artistic work, she teaches extracurricular studies at University of the Arts Berlin (UdK) and the Berlin Summer University of the Arts, curates shows such as Erotica or Pissing in a River. Again! (Kunstraum Kreuzberg), and writes articles for various art magazines.