The hour of the sailors – Kiel and the German Revolution 1918

Kiel City and Maritime Museum
May 2018 – October 2019
900 sqm

Concept, design and production management of the special exhibition (all HOAI phases): Exhibition design, graphics and lighting, design and production of exhibition media, media hardware planning, catalogue and printed matter, cost controlling, expenditure reports

IGLHAUT + von GROTE Ausstellungsgestaltung und Design / The hour of the sailors – Kiel and the German Revolution 1918
The red wedge: Scenography in the listed building “Fischhalle”
Project text:

The Kiel mutiny was an important event in 20th century German history and should be seen in an international context. Although the First World War formally ended when Germany signed the armistice on 11 November 1918, the Kiel mutiny played a special role in the mental and socio-political processes involved in the war. The mutiny signified the moment when the individual’s rejection of war became a political movement and prevailed against the authority of state power.

The exhibition aims to illustrate the significance of the Kiel mutiny as a milestone on the path to German democracy. The exhibition explores the very real contribution of the revolting sailors and workers to founding the democratic state of the Weimar Republic. It shines light on their demands for the overthrow of the monarchy, for fair suffrage and the recognition of basic civil rights.

As a long-standing partner of the City and Maritime Museum, the design office IGLHAUT + von GROTE realised the overall conception and design of the special exhibition, including media productions and print products. The exhibition was held in the Fischhalle (Fish Hall), a listed building built in 1909, at the Kiel Fjord. A large red wedge with rusty surfaces propels itself across the hall and appears to be pushing the surrounding installations to the side. The red wedge symbolises the revolutionary forces of society that ushered in the end of the old system, the monarchy.

Only very few documents and original exhibits on the mutiny have been handed down, so attractive scenographic elements – interactive and informative – have been developed to convey the historical content. Other exhibits (militaria, ship models, marine painting, objects of everyday culture from the working class, political posters, leaflets and paintings, etc.) were exhibited from the collection of Kiel City Museum and Maritime Museum as well as relevant lenders.

In the design of the rooms, equal importance was given to the sensitive handling of the listed building itself and to the adequate presentation of content and original exhibits. A special content development feature was a small exhibition guide that each visitor received free of charge. This booklet contained all exhibition module and theme texts. It allowed visitors to explore the exhibition at their own pace and also served as a souvenir of the visit that could be taken home.