Rarely does AV move people quite as much as it does at the Leo Baeck Institute in New York. The Stolen Heart video map there tells a powerful story: its a key element of the small but poignant exhibition “Stolen Heart: The Theft of Jewish Property in Berlin’s Historic Center, 1933–1945.”
The Stolen Heart exhibit and three-dimensional projection map designed by C&G Partners tracks the theft of Jewish homes and business by the Nazis during the reign of the Third Reich in Berlin. Jewish business and property owners made great contributions to Berlin’s central district, Mitte, until the 1930s, when state-sponsored “Aryanization” resulted in the destruction and theft of Jewish-owned properties and much worse.
To conceptualize such a powerful display, the Leo Baeck Institute called on C&G Partners, a NY-based design consulting firm.
How C&G Partners Highlighted History with Projection Mapping
The integrator designed a way to visually chronicle the crucial economic, cultural, scientific and philanthropic contributions made by the Jewish community through the 1930s. They used BrightSign 4K media players to power media elements throughout the exhibit. A BrightSign 4K1142 player was used to control a 3D video table which illustrates the expropriation of Jewish property during the Reich’s reign. That sits as the centerpiece of the Stolen Heart Exhibit and shows aerial views of the homes and properties from 1933 to present day.
The Stolen Heart Exhibit narrative is told through five prominent Jewish families whose Berlin properties were seized under the Third Reich. A looping video portion of the map shows those homes and properties in context with historically accurate depictions of Berlin center from 1933 to the present. Each era receives a distinct graphic treatment, with each of the families’ narratives woven into the map through archival images.
Video content incorporates archival images and topographic time-lapses projected onto a 3D-printed 1:1,500-scale model of the center of Mitte. The effects range in size from tiny moving period-automobiles to the tallest structures. All of these were prototyped at actual size using BrightSign equipment in testing.
We challenged ourselves to create an interactive, impactful exhibit that illuminates in great detail this painful, yet historically important time period. BrightSign’s players gave us the horsepower and reliability necessary to power this exhibit, and the players have performed flawlessly since the exhibit’s 2016 opening. – Jonathan Alger, Managing Partner at C&G Partners
The integrator says that BrightSign’s products have a distinct “set it and forget it” aspect which minimize maintenance. A scheduling function simplifies the Leo Baeck Institute’s operations, while the players themselves perform better than other PC-based options, the C&G Partners says.
Impact of the Leo Baeck Institute Stolen Heart Exhibit
C&G Partners says the installation was extremely well received and already averages thousands of visitors each week. The exhibition was accompanied by a series of programs related to Stolen Heart’s theme which also drew overflow crowds. The integrator reports extremely positive experiences from visitors that included experts on the topic.
History may be difficult to visualize, but the Stolen Heart Exhibit proves that technology can break the barriers of time through well-conceived design.
Learn more about the Stolen Heart exhibit here.