Nearly 45,000 visitors — that is the number of people who visited MO Museum’s big exhibition “The Origin of Species: 1990s DNA” in October. The curators of the exhibition, which has gained immense popularity, do not stop here and offer additional lectures throughout November and December.
1990s are relevant to many
Already on the first weekend when the exhibition was opened, the Museum was full of visitors. During the first two opening days, called the MOrathon, the new exhibition as well as its opening events attracted over 6,000 visitors. The influx of those interested continued throughout October.
“I believe we have achieved one of the goals of the exhibition – we have evoked an influx of visitors’ memories. People enjoy objects they can relate to in the exhibition, they also tell and share their stories. It is the great power of memories that allows us to rethink not only our history but also today,” says Milda Ivanauskienė, Director at MO Museum.
The exhibition captured a great deal of attention as well as received many various comments among its visitors. “The main attraction of this exhibition is not art but legitimation. The desire to find what we have so recently seen in the cupboards at our homes now exhibited in the Museum space and, thus, to feel important, noteworthy and classified. The 1990s were about our inner sense of being on the periphery and looking at the West, unable and even unwilling to reflect on what was actually taking place in front of us. The purpose of transferring this period to the Museum is to bring back the recent past, as well as grant these events, our everyday life and us ourselves of that time the right to exist,” says writer Aušra Kaziliūnaitė after visiting the exhibition.
TV show host and journalist Rytis Zemkauskas, who attended the exhibition opening, adds: “This is an exhibition where the pop culture of my youth defeated Sovietism. Sovietism was total zero compared to such elements of the 1990s as jeans, cassette players, sneakers, disco music and the joy of consuming it all.”
Additional ways to learn about exhibition: Book and e-guide
According to Director at MO Museum, the exhibition book has also become extremely popular – all copies of its first edition were sold within the first month. MO is expecting another edition of the book to be printed soon.
Liudvikas Andriulis, who visited the Museum and shared his impressions of the exhibition and the book on social networks, notes: “For me personally, this was the strongest emotional experience I have ever had in an exhibition. And this book is a great continuation of it as if you would actually bring the exhibition home.”
In October, the Museum had nearly 80 guided tours and over 60 educational sessions. As much as 12% of MO Museum visitors took advantage of the e-guide – a simple and convenient way to learn more about the exhibition, artworks and exhibits. Based on the practice of other foreign museums, 3-5% of museum visitors use e-guides. Therefore, MO Museum visitors’ desire to learn more about the exhibition by listening to the e-guide is very pleasing.
“We have created various e-guide versions, including a short e-guide about the exhibition, its chapters and major works of art, as well as a comprehensive e-guide presenting all the objects displayed at the exhibition. In addition, we have invited everybody to join the process of creating the e-guide. Thus, the exhibition is complemented with the Nostalgia Guide – first-hand stories of the 1990s. These are actually true stories and memories told by people. Visitors can listen to all the e-guides very easily by simply going online on their smartphones,” says Director at MO.
Exhibition curators continue topic of 1990s in their lectures
Those who want to learn more about the 1990s are invited to lectures at MO Museum by the curators of the exhibition “The Origin of Species: 1990s DNA“. The first lecture by Aurimas Svedas was on “The design of the meaning of life in the 1990s and the transformation of our biographies into history”. On 13 November Vaidas Jauniškis will give a lecture “Stage drama: possibility for the alternative and wreckage of hopes”. It will cover the topic of new spaces and new ways to engage with the visitors, as well as the possibilities for this engagement in the country that was not yet ready to patronise artists. Jauniškis will reveal the history of the alternative theatre and will tell about democracy and visitors‘ experience, openness and the courage to be different.
On 27 November Mantas Pelakauskas will continue the curators’ lecture cycle by introducing the TOP-list of the Lithuanian music. According to Pelakauskas himself, this will be a rather unusual and a little bit satirical lecture.
On 4 December Tomas Vaiseta will talk about the revolution – the sexual rather than the musical revolution – that took place in the 1990s. The lecture will cover the attitude towards sexuality which emerged in the society during the Soviet era, and how much people’s sexual behaviour changed in the early 1990s, how talking about sexuality evolved, public spaces got eroticised and what all those processes actually meant.
On 11 December MO curator Miglė Survilaitė in her lecture “Art and humour in the 1990s” will invite everybody to learn more about the humour and sarcasm of the 1990s.