1) COMENIUS AND HIS TIMES
On a large front segment, two cylinders are mounted, bearing essential dates in the life of Comenius compared to important dates in European history. A glass sphere is located in the segment′s centre, with a circular screen slowly rotating inside this symbolical globe, on which twelve slides are shown.
They represent different spheres of Comenius′ work: Astronomy, Diplomacy, Philology, Philosophy, History, Cartography, Literature, Nature, Pedagogy, Technology, Theology, and Theatre.
Beside a map showing places of Comenius′ sojourn, a screen in a shape of a cloud is installed between two segments. The audiovisual programme The Gate of Matters is projected there.
On the left, there are seven three-dimensional segments dedicated to the topics of the Late Renaissance, Reformation and Counter-Reformation, J. A. Comenius′ Birthplace, Unity of the Brethren, Battle of White Mountain, and A Road from Exile to European Fame.
The left part of the hall is filled with exhibits that are linked to the respective topics presented in the left part. The history of the town of Uherský Brod and the region from which J. A. Comenius came is described on the wall.
The largest artefact of the exhibition is installed in the hall: a dyeing mangle dating from 1848, later converted into a lottery wheel.
You can see the world plunged into a chaos and slowly becoming a labyrinth, through which J. A. Comenius, a church reformer, philosopher, and humanist, is wandering on his flight from oppression. He is received at courts with respect and honour, he is allowed to write textbooks and to teach; but politics of the rulers does not follow the principles advocated by the forlorn humanist and the improvement of all things human remains just a dream.
The rows of books dating back from Comenius′ time – these were the bindings that Comenius held in his hands when studying. He may even have been familiar with some of the tracts published in these volumes.
Data cylinders – his books of which we know are listed chronologically there. Furthermore, we can see facsimiles of the original manuscripts as well as modern editions of significant works by Comenius written in Czech and Latin.
The display is designed so as to make visitors find their way to the information by themselves at the following stands:
Leszno: 1628 to 1641
London: 1641 to 1642
Elbing: 1642 to 1648
Leszno: 1648 to 1650
Sárospatak: 1650 to 1654
Leszno: 1654 to 1656
Amsterdam: 1656 to 15 November 1670 (buried in Naarden)
2) COMENIUS′ LEGACY TO OUR TIMES
The multifunctional hall called Informatorium (the name is derived from Comenius′ concept of lecturing, instructing or giving advice), above all, is used to present the educational programmes. Their content is based on the support of independent and active approach of the child visitor to acquisition of knowledge and development of thinking.
The glass display creates a monumental picture allegory consisting of six screens, symbolically shaped as a sort of a gate in which a statue by sculptor Igor Kitzberger and architect Petr Fuchs is located, made of forged iron and blown glass.
This audiovisual project consists of the following parts:
A. The introductory picture collage on the history, time and place of origin of J. A. Comenius′ General Consultation.
B1. Panegersia – The Universal Awakening
The first section comments on the necessity of an improvement of all things human and appeals to all people to deliberate on that.
B2. Panaugia – The Universal Light
The second section explains the need to ignite the universal light in which everyone could see everything in its entirety.
B3. Pansophia – The Universal Wisdom
The third section deals with everything necessary to achieve good and unity and to eradicate discord.
B4. Pampaedia – The Universal Education
The fourth section considers the concept of universal education as a prerequisite for the general improvement.
B5. Panglottia – The Universal Language
The fifth section brings forward an idea of developing universal contacts between nations by means of the wise cultivation of languages and proposes a new international language.
B6. Panorthosia – The Universal Reform
The sixths section deals with considerations concerning the remedy of the general state of education, religion, and social system, the elimination of confusion, and the achieving of peace in the world.
B7. Pannuthesia – The Universal Warning
The sevenths section urges to implement the above ideas that can be beneficial to the whole world.
C. The conclusion is based on the texts and correspondence acknowledging J. A. Comenius′ legacy
This comprehensive sculptural and cinematographic work tries to find a new dimension of an artistic piece, the time and space. The presented ideas, combined with the contemporary photographic documents, form a link between Comenius′ universal reform efforts and the present day.