Erlend Høyersten – CEO of ARoS Art Museum

Erlend Høyersten was born in 1972 in Bergen, Norway, and graduated as Cand.Phil. in Art History from the city’s university in 1999. Before coming to ARos, he was the head of two different Norwegian art museums.

His vision for ARoS is that it should be like a mountain – helping us see more of the world, than we would if we hadn’t climbed it. This also means that ARoS tries to challenge us, to eventually change something.

Erlend emphasizes the act of breaking down borders and prejudices as something that the people of Europe need. Art can be helpful in this process, as it is always something to be interpreted – something encouraging dialogue and respect between people. In a complex world with constant flows of information, the museum can become a space for critical reflection and deep thoughts.

Optimally, the art museum can offer a room for the spiritual and metaphysical dimension of human life – in a time where the traditional realm of this dimension, religion, has lost its appeal to many people. This doesn’t mean that the experience of art is something religious, it just means that we need something to create new communities, help us understand ourselves and each other.

Further along these lines, Erlend argues that we are in need of a “mental revolution”, since many of the challenges the world of today is facing, have to do with human qualities, and thus cannot be fixed solely by a technological revolution. And art plays an important as an outset for this process.

Ultimately, art has the potential to help us create better societies, prepare us for the future, and change the world!

In his talk Erlend shares his thoughts on how art can help us change the world – if we put in the effort to approach it in a clever way.


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