Concept idea

The visual concept is based on the simplicity of the contrast between old and new, black and white. The exhibition grappled with the labyrinthine layout of the historical building, which was originally part of the town´s baroque fortifications. Its creators made a maze of rooms of different sizes and heights intersected by staircases, with clear boundaries between the historic museum and the elements of the exhibition. What is new is black. Here, black evokes the trials Comenius experienced during his life (emigration, the destruction of his life’s work in a fire, and family tragedies).

CLIENT:  Muzeum Jana Amose Komenskeho
LOCATION: Uhersky Brod, Czech Republic
PHASE: Realizace
AREA: 350 m2
AUTHOR: Horalik atelier, Ing. Arch. Tomas Horalik, Ing. arch. Denisa Kyselicova
COLLABORATION: MgA. Daria Sayapina, A77 – Ing. arch. Zdenek Bures
YEAR: 2022
PHOTO: Martin Zeman
GRAPHICS: MgA. Ondrej Zamis
CONTRACTOR:  Art Consultancy, s. r. o. – MgA. T. Skalik
ACOUSTICS: Aveton, s. r. o.
MULTIMEDIA: ST.dio s. r. o.
Jan Urbanec
Mgr. Ales Kapsa

Permanent Exhibit, J. A. Comenius Museum by Horalik Atelier - Sheet4
©Martin Zeman

The Tunnel of Life

Entrance to the exhibition is through a black tunnel. One walks inside it past different openings (into white booths on either side). The exhibits they present do not map Comenius’ life chronologically, but instead focus on his legacy, the era in which he lived, and the significance of his ideas for humanity. Interactive elements for adults and children are also embedded. The most dramatic section depicts a fire in his library in Leszno through an audio-visual installation. The creators used a giant historical clothes press (a mangle) – that had to remain in the space – as a surface on which to project the fire ripping through the town. They enhanced the scene with charred books and placed a large-scale mirror across from the mangle to extend the space.

Permanent Exhibit, J. A. Comenius Museum by Horalik Atelier - Sheet6
©Martin Zeman

The labyrinth

The first section of the exhibit focusing on Comenius´ life, the second part focuses on Comenius´ faith. A former defense tower has been transformed into an exhibition about his most famous book The Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart. The black room is dominated by a white 3D model of the labyrinth of the world, created on the basis of Comenius’ drawings. Scenes from the book are projected onto the model from four projectors: the pilgrim´s journey to a city (a symbol for the world) that at first glance appears beautiful, but is revealed to be miserable on closer inspection. The pilgrim finds deliverance in his heart, where God speaks to him.

Permanent Exhibit, J. A. Comenius Museum by Horalik Atelier - Sheet3
©Martin Zeman

Work and Legacy

In the last part of the exhibition, the visitor can satisfy his curiosity about Comenius´ work and legacy. A section dedicated to his books is divided into three connected rooms devoted to his pedagogical, theological and philosophical work. In the adjacent printing workshop, visitors can make their own prints on postcards or bookmarks.

©Martin Zeman

The final part is devoted to the scholar´s legacy. It shows how his work has been differently interpreted. The futuristic metal cladding separates the space out visually. It is crowned by an overhead model of the solar system which includes the “Komensky” asteroid, discovered in 1970.


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