STATE GULAG HISTORY MUSEUM
The GULAG History Museum is a functional adaptation of a former residential building for the specific needs of a memory museum. A two-level exhibition space, an open storage system, a developed structure of common areas – a cafe, a cash desk, a cloakroom, a bookstore, a cinema hall, a library – have been created. The building is crowned with an attic – a room for temporary exhibitions with an open terrace, a vantage point for contemplating the garden of memory. The three facades of the building are finished with copper, oxidation and, as a result, the gradual darkening of the facades personifies the work of memory on the trauma.
The exposition of the museum is located on two levels taht have a conceptual meaning – the first level: "materialization of memory", providing contact with the exhibits associated with the GULAG. The second level – “interaction with history” – consists of analogue interactive modules, the viewers discover the history of the GULAG in the process of interacting with them.
The concept of the permanent exhibition is based on an analysis of the museum's collection and includes several typological elements. The entrance hall of the exposition is greeted with a permanent exhibition "GULAG Behind Every Door". This is the place from where the visitor "falls" one floor below – the level of the history of the Gulag, the traces of which can now be built in Russia almost everywhere. The visitor is drawn into a labyrinth of timelessness – as if he is in the esophagus of Ouroboros – in the chronology of the development of the camp system. Here, in the space of unconsciousness, crystals of "little stories" are stuck – showcases of complexes from the museum's collection. The visitor listens to these stories by activating the multimedia interaction mechanism.
Separate spaces in the museum are dedicated to the Great Terror, children in the Gulag, punished nations and the project of the video interview "My Gulag", as well as the museum's expeditions to places of detention.
The final of the exposition is a temple space for collective reflection, where the names of those who have gone through the Gulag or stayed there forever are read continuously. A person begins the path to reality, for the first time on his way he encounters an open window on the street.