Boy in cramped conditions, Bjørn Nørgaard’s Hesteofringen (The Horse Sacrifice) in new set-up, and a Lamborghini whose paintwork you are allowed to scratch. New exhibition at ARoS featuring works from the collection wants to direct focus on contemporary society and challenge our ideas about Europe.

On Saturday 3 September, the exhibition No Man Is an Island – The Satanic Verses will open at ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum featuring works from the ARoS collection as well as a series of distinctive works on loan. The exhibition will feature carefully selected installations by a number of international artists. No Man Is an Island – The Satanic Verses may be seen as a follow-up to Out of the Darkness, which was the first exhibition curated by Erlend G. Høyersten, museum director.

It’s a thought-provoking exhibition designed to pique our views on both contemporary life and interpersonal relations. Not bound by art history or a specific theme, it’s more a subjective narrative reflecting our present-day society. Without offering definitive answers, the exhibition encourages us to reflect on our lives and our culture, says Erlend G. Høyersten.

Aspects highlighted include people’s right to differ, Europe on the move, and how our view of humanity and sets of values – as individuals and as groups – are being challenged. While these themes are directly reflected in the exhibition title, the latter also alludes to literature and Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses, now a symbol of the clash between free thinking and orthodoxy.

We shouldn’t be afraid of speaking out and we must retain the courage to differ. Never just passively accept, but take an active part. And this is precisely what No Man Is an Island – The Satanic Verses will be offering visitors, Erlend G. Høyersten continues.