Today, the Dutch pavilion of the Venice Biennale was opened by culture minister Jet Bussemaker. And she did so with a speech that the culture sector will appreciate. No longer the harsh and cold tone of Halbe Zijlstra's neo-conservative vacuousness, but a story with vision: "In these times of crisis, people tend to withdraw, to be less tolerant of others and stick to existing traditions. stick to what they know. Take France, for example, where the prospect of same-sex marriage has unleashed a wave of conservatism and aggression. But in these tough times, we need exactly the opposite. We need to rely on creative thinkers who find new solutions to existing problems. We need to rely on innovative artists whose work makes people think about 'the other' and other cultures. We need to tap new sources of energy, in the Netherlands and in other countries, to make our society sustainable and compete effectively with non-Western countries, we need to become a true knowledge society, which we may already be."
And if that is not enough vision, she also promises to invest in the foreign success of young artists from the Netherlands, promising to say more about it within a month:
"The Netherlands is home to a great many contemporary artists who are enjoying international success: Marlène Dumas and Fiona Tan, to name but two. Then there's Rineke Dijkstra, and Aernout Mik. And of course we cannot forget our honoured designers and architects such as Rem Koolhaas or Jan Taminiau.
But every country needs up-and-coming young talent that will one day become the new cultural standard bearers. Upcoming artists such as Falke Pisano - who is taking part in this year's Prix de Rome - and Zorro Feigl - who is about to exhibit his work in China - have everything it takes to achieve global success. And on their way to the top, they need our support.
This is why I intend to increase investments in the international development of talent. I will discuss these plans in greater detail early next month."
Medunkt that this cannot be done without an intervention in the current subsidy system, and in the organisation of art education. Would the government really be willing to invest in this vital piece of society? The mere hope of that might make some people cheerful