Fields of Neutrality
(The Last Interview with Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe)
Camera: Itay Marom
Production: Dani Gal and Caroline Kirberg
Commissioned by Staatsgalerie Stuttgart
Commissioned by Staatsgalerie Stuttgart on the occasion of the Bauhaus centennial, this staged television-style interview with Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe depicts the architect late in his life, confronted with his time as the final Bauhaus director, and his refusal to take a political stance amid pressure from the newly established Nazi government and communist students. The interviewer confronts Mies about his unwillingness to take a political position amid pressure both from communist students and the newly established Nazi government. Focussing on the events that led to the closure of the Bauhaus by the Gestapo in 1933, including Mies’s meeting with Alfred Rosenberg, his meeting with a young Gestapo officer in an attempt to keep the Bauhaus open under the Nazi regime, and his interest in continuing his practice in Germany, the film questions cultural notions of modern architecture as an aesthetic reflection of progressive humanistic values. By examining the nature of the relationship between Mies and the Nazis, insight is gained not only into the climate of the last days of the Bauhaus and its clash with fascist forces, but also into historic and contemporary principles of morality.
Dani Gal, born in Jerusalem in 1975, lives and works in Berlin. He studied at the Bezalel Academy for Art and Design in Jerusalem, Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste Städelschule in Frankfurt and at Cooper Union in New York. His films and works have been shown widely, including the 54th Venice Biennale in 2011, the Istanbul Biennale in 2011, New Museum New York in 2012, Kunsthalle St. Gallen, CH in 2013, the Jewish Museum New York in 2014, Berlinale Forum Expanded in 2014, Kunsthaus Zürich in 2015, Kunsthalle Wien in 2015, documenta 14 in 2017, and Centre Pompidou in 2018.