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Looking through portals

Doors and entrances stir our curiosity and make us wonder what’s on the other side. In this exhibition we explore how portals work as thresholds between separate worlds.


The portals from the medieval stave churches have been among the main attractions of the Historical museum since it opened in 1904. Today, the portals are displayed like empty frames lined up against white walls. Audiences are invited to look at these portals - at the intricate carvings of patterns and animal motifs - but they can’t look through them. Consequently they have lost their power as openings into other worlds.  

In this exhibition we have built a brand new portal with peepholes and openings that invite you to explore and investigate. On the other side you will meet a number of unknown and fictitious worlds. 

Surrounding the portal you will find photographs illustrating how the portals have been displayed at the Historical museum for more than a century. How has the audience been invited to experience this journey from the stave church to the museum?

Tags: Stave churches, portals, Middle Ages
Published Apr. 18, 2018 5:59 PM - Last modified Apr. 26, 2022 3:31 PM