In 2013, the Battle of the Nations in Leipzig, at that time the largest battle in history with over 100,000 people killed, marked its second centenary. The aim of the “LEIPZIG 1813” exhibition was to convey a feeling of this historical moment through a spatial experience. The exhibition, held in a gasometer, a listed industrial monument, reflects that raw and industrial character. In Part I, made up of scaffolding towers with textile covering, the visitor is presented with a dazzlingly colourful image of Leipzig in its contemporary facets as trade fair, commerce, music and university city – and given an initially positive feeling. In Part II, the battle, the black deconstructed scaffolding towers have been set up in a way that they appear on the verge of collapse. The positive feeling is destroyed in a single blow. The highlight is a gigantic 360-degree panorama standing 30 metres high with a circumference of 106 metres. The visitor enters the urban space panorama in the moment of decision, when Napoleon retreated and the victorious allied powers entered Leipzig. The visitors can relive these moments of misery, panic and death on the streets only through the overall dramaturgy of the exhibition.
Statement by the Jury
The 360-degree panorama for this exhibition incorporates a fantastic means for allowing visitors to both see and experience what was going on 200 years ago in the Battle of the Nations. The design manages to make the tragedy come to life almost tangibly in all its different aspects, turning the exhibition into a highly memorable experience.