Kéré Architecture Kéré Architecture

"Racism. The Invention of Human Races" Exhibition Scenography

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The scenography for the exhibition “Racism. The Invention of Human Races” at Deutsches Hygiene Museum in Dresden, ties the rooms’ architecture with the rooms’ theme. The high-quality material used produces a specific atmosphere in each room which harmoniously communicates with the exhibited artwork.

In the first room, the visitor is welcomed by a large wooden installation made of modular elements. In the dimmed light of the room, the natural color of the wood recover its character. The structure which sprawls over the visitor through the room acts as a bridge between the different exposed artworks. The modular crates create a strict spatial order, reminiscent of the classification system used in European Modernist science.

The second room is set up as an art gallery where the artwork confiscated and defamed by the National Socialist Party is exhibited and highlighted. The strong presence of the walls is emphasized by the surface treatment: an artistic gesture that mimics the effect of the pure concrete. From the flat horizontal showcases the visitor can analyze and observe historical teaching and propaganda material used by the National Socialists Party. The consistency between the art pieces exposed and the architecture that supports them gives the room an austere and monumentalatmosphere.

As the exhibition journey comes to an end, the last room design breaks with the others. It becomes a space for communication, to encourage further interaction between visitors and stimulate discussions about current social phenomenon and controversial debates.

Its structure resembles a large canopy that visitors can use as a gathering space. The concept for this room takes inspiration from Francis Kéré’s homeland in rural West Africa, where all social gatherings happen under the large crowns of the trees. It is where the community meets, shares its experiences, and tells stories.

The room’s roof uses cardboard tubes that form a rectangular canopy where people can sit and exchange. The ephemeral cardboard tubes are inspired by the art of Shigeru Ban and stand in the room as a metaphor for society’s transient nature. They represent how fragile living together in a community can be, especially without a set of fundamental values accepted by all. The cardboard tubes’ pillars rise to the sky just like the essential values that hold a society together.

People’s desires for stability and attempts to defy time are not only opposed to the phases of social transformation, or new beginnings, but also to the charm of the ephemeral and the temporary. A peaceful coexistence of people within a community can only be achieved thanks to a collective consciousness as well as reactions to social change processes. The integrated seating elements invite guests to exchange, with questions arising such as "What connects us?", "What separates us?", "Who do we want to be together?". Those questions are intended to stimulate the visitors to exchange ideas while sitting under the roof.

STATUS: Open until January 6th, 2019
SITE: Deutsches Hygiene-Museum / Dresden / Germany

SIZE: 830 
CLIENT: Deutsches Hygiene-Museum