Culture. Aarhus is the European cultural capital this year, and the city is confronting the challenges of identity and diversity in the contemporary world.

The seven vices of Denmark

Aarhus, Denmark’s second-largest city, kicked off its program as European cultural capital 2017 under the signs of diversity, democracy and sustainability. It extends an invitation to rethink the challenges of the contemporary world through the prism of art and culture. It proposes a full schedule of exhibitions, meetings, debates, concerts, visual and sound creations, experimentation and performance. The choice of the transgender Anohni as the artist in residence is emblematic. Anohni will be the creative force in the capital, creating different musical and visual artistic works.

Seven museums in the region scrutinize the values ​​of Western society under the lens of the seven deadly sins (until May 28), one per institution, revisited by national and international artists. Barbara Kruger analyzes greed; Rebecca Louise Law focuses on pride; Jenny Holzer and Christian Lemmerz focus on lust; the brothers Jamex et Einar de la Torre deal with sloth; Katja Bjørn stages envy; Martin Erik Andersen, René Schmidt and the Vinyl Terror & Horror duo inquire wrath; and Peter Linde Busk, Steinar Haga Kristensen and Alexander Tovborg rethink avarice.

The contemporary art museum ARoS launches its triennial exhibit The Garden between April 8 and Sept. 10. It will present the depiction of nature in art in three parts. The first section goes from the Baroque until the Land Art of the ‘60s, passing through the German Romanticism and modernism; the second section, “the present,” will be visible in the streets of the city; and the third one, “The Future,” will unfold over four kilometers of shore, dotted with installations.

AARHUS’ Kunsthal houses the personal exhibit of the Swiss artist Thomas Hirschhorn, with his new Pixel Collages series. From August to October, it will host the individual exhibit of the Chinese artist Song Dong, which includes an edible version of the city (in a public performance, portions will be offered to the public to enjoy).

Meanwhile, the Jorn Museum in Silkeborb is organizing the unlikely encounter between Asger Jorn (Cobra) and Edvard Munch, two artists united by the clear vision of the human condition. The Heart Museum in Herning, which houses the largest public collection of Piero Manzoni’s works, invites more than 60 artists (from Ilya Kabakov to Tomás Saraceno), to dialogue with the work “Le socle du monde” by the Italian artist between April 21 and Aug. 28.

The Moesgaard Museum has chosen to open the exhibit “The Life of the Dead,” where Cypriot and Danish anthropologists and artists will debate on the theme of memory and relationship with death. Then, to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation (Martin Luther’s manifesto was nailed to the door of the Wittenberg cathedral on Oct. 31, 1517), numerous events are inspired by the 95 theses. In the meantime, the Lemvig Museum of Religious Art, the Women Museum in Aarhus and the Skovgaard in Viborg propose Image Storm (starting on Oct. 1), questioning how art generates controversy.

Among the sound creations, the Sonic Ark of the Swiss composer Andres Bosshard will feel the pulse of urban life with the participation of many locals.

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