Adhan Corner III

Audio installation in public space, Kristiansand, 2005

The third version of Adhan Corner was part of Sørlandets Kunstmuseum’s international summer exhibition “Others”, 25. June – 24. July 2005.

Five times a day the Muslim prayer call (Adhan) was played from two loudspeakers placed on the roof of the museum following official prayer hours for Kristiansand during the period of the exhibition.

Located opposite Sørlandets Kunstmuseum is the new-gothic styled Kristiansand Cathedral, built in 1885, and beside it, is the City Town Hall. The cathedral is one of Norway’s largest – every hour, at daily bases, its chimes are to be heard loudly from the 36 bells in the tower.

Kristiansand is situated in the south of Norway. The town’s surroundings represent a concept of southern idyll with coastal rocks and small white houses with lush gardens. This part of Norway is also called the “biblical belt” because of its numerous churches and strong traditions of Christianity.

During the summer of 2005 Adhan Corner provoked an intense debate among the citizens, above all in the local newspaper Fedrelandsvennen. In 26 news headings and contributions, local politicians and inhabitants expressed their opinions about cultural differences and Islamic and religious expressions in public space, and about the artwork as such. The various contributions tended to emphasize that the Muslim prayer call disturbed the peace and cosy atmosphere in this typical Norwegian summer town.

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