Four years ago, Aarhus City Council passed a cultural plan of action for 2000-2003. The plan included a visionary strategy for the field of visual arts. One concrete proposal was to launch Aarhus Festival of Contemporary Art a recurring international art exhibition to take place every third or fourth year.

A group of curators was subsequently appointed to realize the visions of the first festival of contemporary art, which we now proudly introduce to the public.

Under the theme of this year's festival Minority Report: Challenging Intolerance in Contemporary Denmark, 116 participants from around the world will contribute to the debate on intolerance in a series of exhibitions and events. Among other things, these contributions take the form of artistic statements. Minority Report, however, takes its starting point in the belief that artistic statements only become relevant when they meet and mix with voices from other fields of society. Hence, audiences are invited to engage themselves in the theme and take part in the debate.

Intolerance is a word most of us dislike. I therefore sincerely hope that Minority Report will become part of the current, ongoing debate on how we can adapt to one another; how we can improve our ability to debate topics, in relation to which each of us may hold rigid and stereotype views not easily shaken.

If this first Aarhus Festival of Contemporary Art is able to inspire to a more differentiated debate on tolerance and intolerance, the festival is in my opinion a success.

At any rate, I am certain that Minority Report both with seriousness and humor will leave its mark on the minds of the audiences.

A warm welcome to the artists and the other participants from around the world and welcome to the audiences.

Torben Brandi Nielsen
Cultural Mayor of Aarhus Municipality