During the LRT Awards, which were organised for the first time, the MO team was honoured in two categories out of nine. MO Museum was elected Initiative of the Year, and Danguolė and Viktoras Butkus were awarded People of the Year.
Interest in modern and contemporary art, exceptional architecture of the MO building, influx of visitors, and many events – what has impressed and drawn attention?
Lithuanians‘ interest in art is growing
At the end of the year, a representative survey of Lithuanian residents carried out by Baltijos Tyrimai revealed that the visibility of MO increased almost twice, compared with the previous year (from 23% to 40%). According to the survey, the number of those interested in modern and contemporary visual arts in Lithuania also increased during the last 12 months.
“We see people’s desire to learn about Lithuanian art – they are interested in guided tours and very often use our e-guide. We see the museum as an inspiring space to get to know new things, meet, and communicate. We hope that our exhibitions will be increasingly discovered by a wider audience as a place for reflection, discussion and questions. That’s where we see the role of MO Museum. We will continue organising events that thematically contribute to our exhibitions and will arrange meetings with artists in order to offer visitors other viewpoints and experiences,” says Milda Ivanauskienė, Director at MO.
She also adds that at the end of the year, MO visitors were counted. From 18 October until the end of 2018, almost 70,000 people visited MO. “This number is pleasing, inspiring and motivating to continue further,” she says.
World-class architecture star Daniel Libeskind, together with the team of DO Architects, designed MO Museum building, which received immediate attention and appreciation of both visitors and professionals.
Already at the end of last October, the international jury elected and awarded MO for the best architecture in the exhibition-competition “Look at Oneself” (Žvilgsnis į save). The interior of MO was honoured as the Best Public Interior in the interior architecture contest “My Space” (Mano erdvė), which took place for the fourth time. MO is also among the nominees of the international competition “EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award”.
“We thank the architects for the excellent project, which attains several goals: invites people to visit and experience art, encourages spending time inside and outside the building, and fits well for the architecture of the Old Town and the New Town of Vilnius,” M. Ivanauskienė says.
She also adds that besides all these interior and design awards, MO founders and the team during the LRT Awards were awarded as the Initiative of the Year and People of the Year. In addition, due to the considerable merit in the field of tourism, Danguolė and Viktoras Butkus were also honoured with the Cross of Tourism.
Upcoming exhibitions in 2019
Already on 11 January, the installation Villa Lituania by Nomeda and Gediminas Urbonas, winners of the Lithuanian National Prize for Culture and Arts, will be introduced to the visitors. Their project represented Lithuania at the Venice Biennale of Contemporary Art in 2007, where it where it received an Honorable Mention by the jury. The reconstruction of the project is going to be displayed at MO.
At the end of February, museum visitors will be able to participate in interactions and experience the works of six contemporary Lithuanian artists in the small exhibition “Starting Point”. Museum visitors will be able to hear the story of artists about what was their own starting point in the creative process.
The most important events of the year are two major exhibitions of the museum in spring and autumn. “The first exhibition in April, “Animal – Human – Robot”, will talk about our relationship with other animal species, whilst biotechnology is changing the world and artificial intelligence is rapidly developing,” Ivanauskienė introduces the upcoming exhibition.
Another big exhibition at MO will open doors in October and will refer to the nineties in Lithuania that have already become a history, when the major turning points and changes took place. “The exhibition will bring together art, culture, stories of everyday life, even individual and personal memories of people,” Ivanauskienė adds.
Photos: J. Auškelis, Lrt.lt