Dunkelkammer Bildungsmoderne: Über Form & Gebrauch Darkroom of Educational Modernism: On Form & Function

15 September 2023–3 February 2024

Event Series

The exhibition was extended from January 20 until February 3, 2024.

station urbaner kulturen, Auerbacher Ring 41, 12619 Berlin


Sabine Bitter / Helmut Weber

Project group station urbaner kulturen

Juan Camilo Alfonso, Jochen Becker, Eva Hertzsch, Margarete Kiss, Constanze Musterer, Adam Page, Ralf Wedekind

At the latest with the expulsion of emancipative modernism from Europe after the outbreak of World War II and the establishment of the International Style in architecture, the project of modernism split into formally aesthetic and ideologically competing social and national processes. These strands can be reconnected in educational buildings.

Since the late 1990s, the artist duo Sabine Bitter and Helmut Weber have been visiting, photographing, and researching buildings and structures of postwar educational modernism, as well as the backgrounds and realities of their use, in countries as diverse as Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Nigeria, Serbia, and the United States.

Exemplary works from this long-term project examine the role and meaning of images of educational architectures in narratives of modernization from different geographies and ideologies. They explore how colonialism, racism, and classism become visible in them and how critique of the promises and crimes of modernism can be captured in terms of image politics.

The exhibition Darkroom of Educational Modernism and accompanying events ask whether and how, considering the complicity of knowledge and education with planetary exploitation processes, spaces can still be opened up today for a “critical legacy” of modernism in which other forms of knowledge are developed and conditions and ways of dealing with education that are fit for the future are made possible.

Brief biography
Vienna and Vancouver-based artists Sabine Bitter and Helmut Weber investigate how cities, architectures, and urban territories are negotiated through images. Their photographic, spatial, and research-oriented works address moments and logics of urban transformation processes. In 2004 they founded the research collective Urban Subjects with Jeff Derksen.