COUNCIL OF CONSTANCE
360° Panorama by Yadegar Asisi
This work of art sees the unfurling of a panoramic artistic journey through time to Constance in the late Middle Ages. The historic anchor of the piece is the Council of Constance, one of the biggest medieval church meetings, which took place from 1414 to 1418. Its aim was to overcome the roughly 50-year Western Schism, which inevitably had political motivations.
It is estimated that the town, whose population was around 7,000 at the time, welcomed approximately 70,000 visitors over those four years, 20,000 of whom stayed there throughout. Among them were Pope John XXIII (only one of three popes at the time), the then King of the Romans and Germany Sigismund with his consort of dukes, counts and knights, cardinals, bishops and clerics, and the Bohemian reformer Jan Hus. Countless merchants and artists travelled to the town, and it’s said that around 800 prostitutes plied their trade in Constance at the time. Visitors came from all four corners of the globe: the town by Lake Constance welcomed missions from far-off places such as Ethiopia, the Baltic region and the East.
The panorama of Constance in the late Middle Ages is revealed from a fictional perspective in the heart of the Old Town. In the midst of the crowded bishop's town, the events between 1414-1418 become more intense. Images and scenes are interwoven to juxtapose historical figures or features that would never have been found at the same place or time in the real world: accordingly, the panorama depicts a wide variety of scenes, including both Jan Hus preaching and burning at the stake for heresy – despite being promised safe passage.