Meet the Vikings: Blending Archaeological Artefacts and a Designer’s Visualizations in Uncertain Times

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearch


In 2018, the National Museum of Denmark opened a highly publicized Viking exhibition co-produced by Jim Lyngvild a Danish designer and well-known practitioner of Asa faith, who had previously been a member of the Danish People’s Party. The exhibition demonstrated a previously unseen (re)integration of pop-cultural representations of archelogy into the Danish national museum setting, dominated by a research-based approach to artefacts and communication.

The paper explores the visual and narrative dimension of the exhibition – in relation to the wider institutional context, in which the exhibition was formed. – Viewing the exhibition as a manifestation of the incorporation of a market logic, political populism and entertainment in response to an extremely precarious financial position, an increasingly powerful Peoples Party and a wider movement in the museum sector towards the experience economy, turning national museum visitors, previously viewed as citizens, into cultural consumers.

Danish cultural history museums – the very organisations we turn to affirm and understand our national identity are currently seeing a significant increase in visitor numbers coinciding with a strong sense of political uncertainty influenced by a number of crises; waves of migrants and refugees, a volatile US-leadership, BREXIT and uncertainty about the future climate. In this situation, the author finds it relevant to consider what popular semiotic meanings are (re)integrated into the museum, their political use and implications.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2019
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventThe 41st Annual Theoretical Archaeology Group Conference: Power, Knowledge and the Past - University College London, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 16 Dec 201918 Dec 2019
Conference number: 41


ConferenceThe 41st Annual Theoretical Archaeology Group Conference
LocationUniversity College London
CountryUnited Kingdom
Internet address

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