FESTUNG XPERIENCE: Exhibition in the fortress of Dresden
Beneath Brühl's Terrace, the “Balcony of Europe”, lies concealed the fortress of Dresden. In this 16th century bastion fortification, once cutting-edge architecture and preserved to the present day in its authenticity, TAMSCHICK MEDIA+SPACE developed and realised as general contractor for Staatliche Schlösser, Burgen und Gärten Sachsen (SBG) a new, experience-driven permanent exhibition and the media-based scenography from the idea to the implementation under the most demanding climatic conditions. The history of the fortress is being told immersively in a mixed media audio drama by means of motion design, light design, and sound design.
It is a unique and diverse format that enables submergence into history and elicits the sensation of being amidst the historic events. The multimedia, multisensorial, and largely immaterial scenography turns the visitors into partakers. Conceptualised under the curatorial lead of Dr. Dirk Welich as an audio drama transposed into three-dimensional space, the exhibition features almost no exhibits. With renowned narrators and an emotional film score, animated etchings and paintings as well as space-filling projection mapping, TAMSCHICK MEDIA+SPACE has created an innovative exhibition format that transports history to the present at the authentic location.
On 1800 sqm, projections of 360 and 720 degrees, interactive sound, light design, and a narrated story let five centuries of city history come to life. One of the most unique features is the fact that there are no classic exhibits on display. With projection mapping onto metre-thick walls and onto a chain curtain, with choreographed light, a poetic shadow installation, and, not least, with an innovative sound experience, the fortress itself becomes the exhibit. At the entrance, audiosets are issued to the visitors that makes possible an individual listening experience for everyone. On headphones, the audio tracks are triggered precisely upon moving into specific areas and appear to be emitted three-dimensionally from real sound sources. The voices of three narrators, among them the contractor of the building, Maurice of Saxony, guide the visitors on the exhibition parcours. Along 25 stations, a multimedia spectacle of image and sound unfolds around the visitors.
In the various rooms and halls of the fortress, visitors observe and at times even become part of the scenes. The narrators do not appear didactically, but the visitors feel rather like witnessing their conversations and thoughts. The language of the characters is based on original historic texts. In the different plot strands, visitors are introduced to the experience of life in those days. An especially composed film score and a visual style derived from historical representations vary in the spaces according to the narrated content.
At the Grosser Kanonenhof [Large Cannon Court], the heart of the fortress, all strands and topics of the exhibition merge in a main show. In this immersive multimedia spatial theatre, the fortress history unfolds on walls, the ceiling, and the floor, from the planning of the building to its defense and even the floodings. Due to the fortresses location directly adjacent to the river Elbe, the floodings have always been a threat to the building, which has been taken into account scenographically as well. In every space, the modularly designed equipment is installed directly underneath the ceiling and can, if necessary, be deinstalled and reinstalled with little effort.