Message of greeting by Minister of State Michelle Müntefering at the opening of the Triennale di Milano

04.03.2019 - Speech
Minister of State Michelle Müntefering at the Triennale di Milano
Minister of State Michelle Müntefering at the Triennale di Milano© Jorinde Gersina

Mr Scherer, Mr Franke, Mr Linke, Mr Lelasi,
Dear Triennale-Team,
Ms Bruno, Mr Krumrei,
“Sprezzatura” is what the old Italians called effortlessness, how they express the idea of exuding “a certain nonchalance”. Everything one does or says then seems effortless, as if it had simply happened without a thought.
I am paraphrasing here the words of the Italian Renaissance writer Baldassare Castiglione in 1528.
Today we ponder this exhibition which mirrors the modern age and its challenges. And we ponder Stefano Boeri and the Triennale team.
And we can say: “Sprezzatura” is alive and well. In Germany this year, we are celebrating the centenary of the “Bauhaus” - and there the eternal motto is “form follows function”. So as pragmatists, we know that a considerable amount of work, thinking, creativity and persuasion went into this Triennale too.
So before I go any further, let me thank everyone who has made this wonderful exhibition possible.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Fashion and design have long played a key role in Italian culture. Also in Germany, creative industries have grown dramatically in importance. So I am delighted that we are engaged in such close exchange on these topics and that we want to further deepen our cultural cooperation.
And that we are able to present a German contribution again at this Triennale.
The months since we last met have been a true inspiration for all the potential inherent in this cooperation - and have demonstrated what the bonds of culture mean for the relations between our countries.
I would also like to thank in particular Stefano Boeri and Ms Antonelli and their team that the title of this year’s Triennale is one which stands for openness and tolerance, values which are essential in a networked world but particularly for us in Europe.
I was immediately taken by the motto you chose for this Triennale “Broken Nature: Design Takes on Human Survival”.
Environmental protection and climate change are amongst the prime topics of our time.
They are the topics which will dictate the future of our planet Earth.
We are all called upon to think about the effects of our lifestyle on the environment and on future generations.
And we are called upon to work together to combat environmental degradation and excessive use of resources.
Germany will thus make the challenge of climate change into one of its priorities in the UN Security Council.
This year’s Triennale is making an important contribution. It is providing cultural space to discuss pressing issues.
Exchange and dialogue between those engaged in culture, civil society and politics can strengthen democracy.
And it is this thought of shared responsibility that we need to strengthen once more, especially in Europe.
After all, we can ultimately only answer the major questions of our time together!
That is also how I see the German contribution which is entitled “Carceri d’Invenzione”.
The cooperation between Armin Linke, Giulia Bruno and Giuseppe Lelasi has created a very impressive project curated by Anselm Franke.
The project has evolved from “The Anthropocene” which has been successfully running for some time at the “Haus der Kulturen der Welt” in Berlin.
It puts the spotlight on climate change, shaped as it is by humankind.
Armin Linke has comprehensively documented the rapid change in the Earth’s surface, the effects of globalisation, global infrastructure and the networked world of communication.
This work has now been made accessible for the Triennale in Milano.
I for one hope that this year’s Triennale, and Germany’s contribution, will communicate exactly this message: We only have one planet to live on.

Ladies and gentlemen,
I have been looking forward to this day for months as I have had something to remind me about it.
In September, Stefano Boeri presented me with two huge “Triennale-scarves” which have been hanging in my office in the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin ever since.
So I knew, Milan is coming. There isn’t long to wait.
That, dear Triennale-Team, was a pretty good trick! And it demonstrates once more: the art of Italian “sprezzatura”.
Thank you. And here’s to the fruit of this wonderful cooperation!


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