Åbningen af Den danske pavillon på Venedig-biennalen 2017

Kulturminister Mette Bock åbner den danske pavillon på kunstbiennalen i Venedig, 2017.

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“Creativity is contagious, pass it on.” Albert Einstein said that. 

Well, actually: according to an overwhelming amount of voices on the internet, Albert Einstein said that!

And it is true in the essence, even if Einstein never said it.

Creativity is contagious – because it’s fun and enlightening and something we need every day!

Good quotes are contagious too!

And what better place to catch that contagious virus of creativity than here in Venice?

Where Kirstine Roepstorff has titled her exhibition for the Danish Pavilion "INFLUENZA".

I think many of us are already feeling the first symptoms of this good-natured virus.

Symptoms are: opening of the eyes; unfolding of the ears, and an increased sense of awareness and desire to engage in conversations. Watch out!

For this contagious creativity, I have to deliver the news: there is no cure or vaccine.

Thank God!

We must live with it, as we must with contagious laughter or – something that I hope is not in outbreak this moment – the contagious yawn.

Well, you can never be too safe: I’ll keep it short!

A virus knows of no national borders. Nor does art.

This has been celebrated in Venice for more than one hundred and twenty years. And even if the pavilions here in Giardini are divided by national borders, the whole point is crossing them!

Denmark has been a part of the crossing since the beginning, and the Biennale has offered an important platform for Danish artists to present their work and engage in an international conversation.

The artists have exposed themselves to the “contagious creativity”, and brought it home to Denmark – highly infected, but all the better for it!

This has led to an unusual high degree of creativity among Danish artists who – like Kirstine Roepstorff – are not afraid to challenge us. Nor should they be!

Art should push us further, give us a new perspective and provoke us. And art must reveal our blind spots to ourselves.

How else can we learn in life? How else can we develop our opinions ?

We do not need to agree about art, but we need art that disagrees!

All this is extremely healthy! As a “doctor of culture”

I hereby subscribe a high doses of artistic provocation. 

Not far away from here, you’ll find the city of Mirandola. More than 500 years ago this city was the cause of a serious outbreak of creativity-virus.

That’s when the young philosopher, Pico della Mirandola wrote the so-called "Manifesto of the Renaissance, “The Oration on the Dignity of Man”,

In this manifesto, Mirandola states that man is created to think for himself and to choose his own fate. According to Mirandola we can choose to be dishonest or we can choose to be moral. 

These thoughts are still highly relevant today.

We do make our own choices! We are responsible for our own lives!

Art can help us make those choices. That is why we need Art, and the reason why we are here in a Venice that is not haunted by the plague of The Black Death but blessed by creativity. It is all up to us – to you.

However, if you are not willing to change your old positions– I must warn you, there is a highly contagious creativity in the air.

Take good care of yourselves. Or even better: take it in and pass it on!

Kirstine, I would like to congratulate you with this thought-provoking exhibition.  

And now I pass the word on to Gitte Ørskou.