Adhan Corner I, II & III
Audio installation in public space.
Adhan Corner provided the opportunity to hear the Muslim prayer call for the first time in public space in Bergen (2001), in Copenhagen (Kongens Nytorv, 2002) and in Kristiansand (2005).
Five times a day the Muslim prayer call (Adhan) was played, calling to prayer from loudspeakers placed e.g. on the roof of the exhibition space. The prayer call, which is a recording from Mecca, continues for tree minutes.
The hours for the five daily prayers in Islam – Fajr, Duhr, Asr, Maghrib, and Ishaa – are determined by the passage of the sun. Consequently, the hours will change a bit from one day to the next. A computer was programmed to manage the changing playing hours exactly following the Muslim prayer calendar for the specific place, during the period of the exhibition. This way the prayer calls is of actual use: According to Islam, the prayers can be carried out anywhere as long as one is facing Mecca.
In Norway no permission is required for calls to prayer through loudspeakers, that a prefect in Oslo and Akershus stated after treating the so-called ‘Prayer call case’ in Oslo. After the first Mosque was raised in Oslo, it was in 2000 applied for permission to call for Friday prayer (main prayer). The case gained great attention in the media as hostility towards all foreign and other related motives surfaced. The Norwegian right-wing party ”Fremskrittspartiet” proposed for the Norwegian parliament a change of the constitution to give the Christian state-religion legal priority compared to other religions practised in the country. This would imply that prayer calls could not be compared with church bells calling to service. This proposal was turned down by the Norwegian parliament, but the case was brought to the office of the County Prefect. In here verdict of 24 October 2000 County Prefect Kari Moe Røisland, after demand from ”Fremskrittspartiet”, appraised the prayer call against the criminal code, international convention about civil and political rights, and the European commission for human rights. She concludes that there exists no legal authority, which prohibit call of prayer in Norway.