In the 60s, Christian pop artist Arvid Wangberg sparked controversy when his songs featured drums. Today, artists like Motorpsycho and Aurora perform in the Nidaros Cathedral.
Even though music with Christian content has sold well and bred several popular artists, it is often overlooked in the story of Norwegian popular music. This year`s major exhibition at Rockheim is about the relationship between Christianity and popular music in Norway. With both a historic and thematic look, it will also examine what it means to be an artist and a believer in today`s society.
Inner and outer conflicts are prominent in the exhibition, ranging from the American proto rockers like Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard and Elvis – all from the Pentecostal church – to houses of prayer, the Jesus revival and Ten Sing in Norway. Diversity is the essence, and while some have tried to maintain a Christian music milieu, institutions like Kirkelig Kulturverksted work towards building bridges between the traditionally separated secular and religious cultures.
A complex, fascinating and comprehensive story is told through video interviews, installations, music and more – to conjure an impression of both dissonance and spirituality.
Soli Deo gloria is exhibited until May 2020.