”Inter arma silent musae”
The absurd logic of the war overlaps the initial order of space, given by the frame of the perimetral walls and rhythm of the ten pillars arranged on two parallel axes. The exhibition design proposes a deconstructed, hostile space, passing through disparate, rotated, broken elements - linear panels and ”boxes” made of timber and plywood, painted in a dark color. There is nothing exposed on the contour walls, all the art work being brought to the middle of the space. The three ”boxes” that can be entered - the "tower", the "coffin" and the "tunnel" - are intended for a direct experience of the war, through photos, diary notebooks, documents, video projections, sound. The existing flooring was entirely covered with wooden floor, amplifying the noise of the steps and thus sound tracking someone through the exhibition space.
After the opening, the exhibition went through unusual stages: the itinerary of part of the works at the Vittoriano Gallery in Rome, including the in situ reconstruction of some spatial elements ("tunnel"), and in Bucharest, after the exhibition finissage, the scenography was kept for several months to host events and activities related to museum education.
Atelier de Front is an impressive exhibition design that evokes a whole range of emotions that translate into the content of the exhibition. The exhibition is centered around the art that was created during the Great War. The designers have utilised sensory aspects to underline the emotional response to the exhibition, for instance loud floors and dimmed lights. They have controlled the journey through the space and have created an efficient exhibition design based on a controlled material and color palette. The result transmits an intellectual approach from the designers, a rigid method and a subtle and humble aesthetic. It’s an extremely well executed design that impressed the jury and sparked a talk on what exhibition design is and has of function.