Being converted into skate parks, sheep sheds, or bought by other christian denominations, the traditional Norwegian prayer houses are about to disappear. Built in the latter half of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, as “the great awakening” swept across Norway, these buildings were found in every village. They were places of worship and social gatherings, hallmarks of the pietistic revival movement.
In 1974 there were about 2.600 of them, spanning from Lindesnes in the south to Vardø in the north, but the last decades they have been abandoned en masse. No one knows how many are left.
The Norwegian prayer house has lost its previous function. In the series Behold, I am coming soon! Erlend Berge depicts how these buildings have been transformed, to a skate park or a shed, while we still await the second coming. What do we do with churches in an increasingly secularized world? According to the jury, Erlend Berge presents us with a both humorous and thought-provoking story about how the buildings become re-functioned and take on a new life, asking where has our shepherd gone?