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Liv Kristin Holmberg: The Art Liturgy – On the Limits of Art

An artistic research project on the performative potential of the church musician.

Field of study: Artistic Research


Metaphysical reality theatre

It is a multi-year performative practice for the stage, founded on my background as a church musician and performance artist, where I explore the role of the organist as a ritual master.

The Art Liturgy could be described as a ritualistic musical theatre based on utopian philosophy, wherein I develop new liturgical elements for existential events and life transitions: A sort of metaphysical theatre of the real.

My artistic background as a church musician and performance artist is the core of a long-standing stage art-, and performative practice, in which I investigate the cantor’s role as a ritual master.

Kunstliturgien can be described as a ritualistic music theatre based on utopian philosophy, in which I develop self-made liturgical elements aiming at life’s existential questions and transitions; creating a fundament for a metaphysical reality theatre.

The Boundaries of Art

This project is both performative and discursive: as well as an examination of the potential of the church room as an artistic arena, it will also test its capability as a transformative and powerful public space.

The performative potential of church musicians

The project is an examination of church musicians and their performative potential. I have the ambition to develop and extend the role of the organ player and hence lay down the general outlines for performative aesthetics, based on my own and others experiences regarding varying interpretations of liturgical organ music and artistic experiments of ritualistic musical drama.

The development of liturgical music

As part of the artistic research, a collaboration with several composers is initiated, where we mutually (jointly) will develop a concept and the musical material, specially composed for the project with me as a performer.

Art and religion

The church was once the natural venue for music and art. Is this still the case or does the church operate in an aesthetic vacuum? In the light of the Reformation Jubilee 2017, and as an overarching idea, the project will reflect over existing as well as non-existing parallels between church art and contemporary art since the reformation, in a Norwegian context.

Kunstliturgien is an artistic research on the relationship between belief and art, religion and aesthetics, with a spiritual and existential ambition to discover possible, transformative dimensions in art.

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Published: Nov 11, 2019 — Last updated: May 21, 2024