What does life look like for people in a European cultural area that has been shaped by commercial and industrial activities for the past 500 years? How did it come about that Saxony became one of the birth regions of the European industrialisation? The large central exhibition in the Audi-Bau Zwickau will bring to life the origins and high points of Saxony’s industrialisation and highlight the prospects for today’s Free State.
In a historical cultural panorama, the central exhibition in the Audi-Bau Zwickau has the eventful history of industry and money, work and technology, knowledge and politics as its theme. This backdrop makes the close connection between industry, culture and man more understandable for the present and future, too. Valuable historic objects, paintings, photographs and films make the great tradition of a 500-year industrial culture come alive. It was Saxony where mining engineering was founded and European porcelain invented. From the so-called "Rétablissement" onwards, the economic miracle following the destruction of the Seven-Year War which ended in 1763, right up to the beginning of the Second World War, Saxony was the leading economic region in Germany. Industry and trade met in the metropolis Leipzig, which set international benchmarks with its samples fair concept. Around 1900, Saxony was one of the most densely populated industrial regions in Europe. Leading global companies manufactured a wide range of products not only in Chemnitz, Zwickau and Dresden but also in small towns and villages. After 1945 traditional markets were lost, specialists fled to the Federal Republic of Germany and well-known brands relocated to other countries, yet Saxony remained the centre of industrial production in the German Democratic Republic and one of the most important centres in the entire Eastern Bloc. The globalisation shock of reunification put many companies out of business. However, there were many new developments and Saxon's industry is now very successful again. Mechanical engineering, micro-electronics and vehicle manufacturing have become some of the most important industrial branches of economic life in Saxony. Yet the many new small and medium-sized companies with their dedicated specialists will also play their part in guaranteeing the future.
The central exhibition for the 4th Saxon State Exhibition will be organised in the Audi-Bau Zwickau. This authentic Auto Union AG assembly building dating back to 1938 is located on the historic industrial grounds of Audi and Sachsenring, directly adjacent to the former production line of the legendary Trabant. The building is being given a temporary architecture and made barrier-free for the state exhibition in order to meet the requirements of the numbers of visitors expected. Information and meeting zones, the pay desk area, café and shop are just as much a part of this as are areas for hands-on events and seminar rooms. The outer area is also being redesigned and a sufficient number of parking spaces for cars and coaches created. Inside the building, a multi-dimensional exhibition landscape will be created covering an area of around 2,800 square metres and will offer the public popular access to industrial culture. The valuable exhibits will be presented with interactive installations and spectacular medial or artistic scenarios. The dramaturgy and scenography of the exhibition will thus appeal to all the senses and make Saxon industrial culture an impressive experience.
The Saxon State Ministry for Science and Art has entrusted the Deutsches Hygiene-Museum with the organisation of the state exhibition in Zwickau. With numerous projects that have gained nationwide recognition, the museum in Dresden has become a competence centre for surprising and popular theme-based exhibitions, all of which focus on humans as social and cultural beings.