9 months ago


The Icon Exhibition

The Icon Exhibition “Kissed again and again” | 175 Fig. 12: Water colour sketch for a decorative pattern on the mdf-walls, using the drapery motif from Lupşa. Fig. 15: Sketch for the iconostasis, July 2015. Fig. 13: The church interior at Lupşa with painted drapery on the walls and the lower part of the iconostasis. Photo courtesy of the Lupșa Monastery. Fig. 14: A textplate on transparent acrylic, in the Papyrus font, size 60 pct.s. Fig. 16: The final stages of mounting an exhibition always look rather chaotic. Here, the iconostasis is made ready, two days before the opening.

176 | Henrik von Achen world of icons. (Fig. 17) For Orthodox, and particularly Romanian visitors, their spontaneous reaction was: “This is like home”! Some weeks later, when His Excellence bishop Macarie visited the exhibition in the evening, the exhibition was for a while turned into a prayer room with prayers and singing, each then finding his or her favourite icon to venerate and pray before. This certainly crossed the line from “neutral” albeit meditatively arranged exhibition of religious objects to a religious devotional practice focusing on the exhibits, or in which the icons were now imbedded. To the University Museum in Bergen, or at least to its director, this use of the exhibition by certain visitors or groups was quite unproblematic, as long as the exhibition itself and in its planning was not and was never meant to promote religion or to exhort visitors to engage in such practices. Fig. 17: The ‘Chapel’ with the miraculous icon, c. 1750, from the monastery of Dragomireşti. Fig. 18: Part of the iconostasis as it was presented at the exhibition.

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