Jutland 1916 – The unfinished battle
Design of the special exhibition: exhibition design, graphic design, design and production of the exhibition media, media hardware planning, print products, production management, cost controlling
From 31 May to 1 June 1916, the British Grand Fleet and the German High Seas Fleet confronted one another before Skagerrak west of the Danish mainland in a massive naval battle. It is considered to be the largest conventional naval battle in world history. 250 ships were involved, manned with about 95,000 soldiers. 8,500 British and German seamen lost their lives, many of the heavy battleships were sunk.
The Naval Museum took the occasion of the 100th anniversary of this naval battle to shed light on this almost forgotten event in Germany in a special exhibition. There are still many questions left unanswered about the Battle of Jutland: Who won the battle? Why did those involved in the battle act the way they did? What were the consequences of this event? And what significance does the battle have today, 100 years later?
The special exhibition examines these questions in an A-Z of 26 central terms referring to the Battle of Jutland, as well as in remembrance books containing the names of all those who fell during the battle. The entire exhibition is accessible in German and English and deliberately refrains from following a national memorial narrative. This system is structured by two multimedia installations, which show both the course of the battle and tell visitors about how the battle continued to live on afterwards in the culture of remembrance of both sides.
Probably the biggest challenge for the scenography was presented by in the exhibition space itself: on a surface area of only 120 sqm, objects and terms as well as books containing the names of the dead and biographies providing more in-depth Information are arranged alphabetically. These are framed by two screens showing film installations. A wall graphic gives the room extra depth.
The way the room is structured by showcases and book tables evokes the image of ships at anchor.
The accompanying exhibition catalogue is as compact as the exhibition itself: on 280 pages, it presents all texts and objects as well as biographies. In addition, IGLHAUT + von GROTE were responsible for producing all other printed matter such as invitation cards, advertisements and posters.
Media also play an important role in a small exhibition: specially designed books contain terms, names and biographies for each letter of the alphabet. Listening stations with recorded testimonials added to the exhibition narrative providing a very personal view of events from contemporaries.
Two large projections round off the exhibition: IGLHAUT + von GROTE edited an animated film showing the course of the battle in German, which was shown at the exhibition. On behalf of the German Naval Museum, the IGLHAUT + von GROTE team developed the concept for and produced a documentary film on the Battle of Jutland as seen in the culture of remembrance.
From the very beginning, the team from IGLHAUT + von GROTE was involved in developing the concept for the exhibition content and in creating the media. The team provided the screenplay, carried out the archive research and conducted interviews with six interview partners for the film “Remembering of the Battle”. IGLHAUT + von GROTE also supported the editorial processes when producing texts.