Homo Religiosus

Storgata 95

8. November 2014

19:06
Mari Hildung

Hardly a day passes without us hearing about conflicts rooted in religious differences. Violent extremism provides subject matter for mass media the world over. Perspektivet Museum focuses instead on everyday religiosity, and through several years of documentary work, we have learned about small and large religious communities in Tromsø. Globalization involves new challenges in living together as one big world, but also in dealing with specific local changes and adaptations. In the exhibition you can see Tromsø from a rare angle.

Throughout history it has been claimed that human beings have an inherent ability to have religious experiences, and that this also applies to modern individuals. In the exhibition we meet people who, in different ways, practice their faith and contribute to shaping the city with their holy places, rituals and gatherings. This is not a matter of religion such as we find explained in textbooks, but religiosity as experience, and as ideas that cannot be fully understood.

The exhibition Homo Religiosus is about the spiritual world and the quest for meaning and coherence in life. This is a dimension that art installations and music can help mediate. In art, the existential and religious dimension comes to expression as a type of insight that transcends dispassionate, reason-based knowledge. Perhaps the art can be viewed as a window facing inwards, while the exhibition’s documentary materials offer a new lens through which to see the city of Tromsø.


Homo Religiosus is produced through collaboration between the visual artist Lawrence Malstaf, the musician Aggie Peterson and Perspektivet Museum.

The exhibition is funded by the foundation Fritt Ord, the Norwegian Ministry of Culture and Arts Council Norway.

The documentation "Homo Religiosus"

This documentation project was launched in 2010. An important part of its background is the observation that religion is increasingly thematized in the public debate, but often as a divisive factor jeopardizing the community. Perspektivet Museum is seeking to establish a dialogue with active religious members where we focus for example on how religion unites the faithful as a community, how the urban environment, climate and cultural conditions influence external, visible conditions and how the town is coloured by the practising of religion.
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