H.K.H. Prins Daniels tal på Biennalen i Venedig

Venedig, Italien

(Det talade ordet gäller)

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am honoured and grateful to be here today for the inauguration of the Nordic Pavilion, and for having the opportunity to explore La Biennale di Venezia for the first time. I think few events in the world have the same ability to bring together such a diverse set of rich cultural traditions and languages – and what better medium than art exists to embrace this diversity?

The Biennale also provides an opportunity to understand questions asked by artists today, offering insights into both history and contemporary issues.

The Nordic Pavilion is one of many wonderful examples of the close cooperation between the Nordic Countries. This year, Sweden has the privilege to curate the Pavilion under the direction of Moderna Museet. Artist Lap-See Lam, in collaboration with Tze Yeung Ho and Kholod Hawash, have created The Altersea Opera, a comprehensive masterpiece that has transformed the iconic building by Sverre Fehn into a dragon ship!

This ship has sailed from the port of Stockholm to the Venetian lagoon, and we are invited to become part of its journey. Through images, music, textiles, and performances, the talented artists and performers immerse us in the enchanted story of Lo Ting, a fishman searching for his lost home.

The title of the main exhibition this year is “Foreigners Everywhere.” One of the many meanings contained within the title is that regardless of where we go, we will always encounter foreigners, or be foreigners ourselves. This notion is also present in the Nordic Pavilion and The Altersea Opera. Each of the three artists – originating from Sweden, Norway, and Finland with heritage from Hong Kong, China, and Iraq – have skillfully created a production that transcends boundaries, built on their own personal experiences.

All of us being here today are the result of the journeys and paths that we, and those who came before us, have taken. Many of us may have experienced moments of feeling lost or out of place – feeling foreign. However, with curiosity and enthusiasm, I believe most of us have grown along the way, learning more about ourselves and the world we live in.

And isn’t that precisely what makes art so powerful? Looking at an artwork and freeing your imagination can take you on a thousand journeys without taking a single step.

When different crises are darkening the skies, I would like to believe that art can offer comfort and prepare us to embrace the unforeseen.

Sharing the experience of art allows us to learn from each other’s stories and write new ones together. Today, we will witness the tale of Lo Ting in The Altersea Opera and I cannot wait to see where it will take us.

Finally, I would like to congratulate the artists, the curator Asrin Haidari, the performers, and everyone who has contributed to the production of this ambitious and comprehensive work of art.

It is with great pleasure that I hereby declare the exhibition The Altersea Opera and the Nordic Countries Pavilion officially open!

Thank you!