Today is the day! Guests from near and far will, in a few hours, show up at Moesgaard Museum to attend the official opening of the new special exhibition ‘On the steppes of Genghis Khan – Mongolia’s nomads’ – tomorrow it is the turn of the public, who will at last get to see the fruits of many months of hard labour.
What will they experience? I will certainly not spoil it for you. I have been lucky enough to sneak a few peeks into the almost-finished exhibition, but I know from experience with previous exhibitions, that what you see even a few hours before opening is nothing to the overall impression you get, when the last tools have been removed, the bright cleaning lights have been turned off, the soundscape fills the room, and the carefully crafted scenery sets the stage for the beautifully lit artefacts. There is a magic to exhibition making, where the total equals more than the sum of its parts; where light, sound, setting, and scenery can make artefacts come to life, and tell stories, which might otherwise remain hidden.
Take the two felt blankets above, for example. They are quite lovely, yes, but look for them in the exhibition, and you will see them come to life in a vibrant setting. They are sleeping mats, collected by Lene Nielsen in Mongolia in 2004. The left mat is from the Dorvod people of Western Mongolia, while the right is of Khalkha origin.
They are, of course, not the most spectacular objects of the exhibition, which holds artefacts from the time of Genghis Khan, beautifully crafted jewellery from the 1930s, shamanic objects, as well as over a thousand other artefacts.
Come explore for yourself tomorrow! The exhibition will be at Moesgaard Museum until the 14th of April 2019, after which it will travel to the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen.