Call me Ornament

The famous writing “Ornament and Transgression” by Adolf Loos, a manifesto that succeeding in banishing ornaments to the margins of the design discourse, is not the only one who repudiated ornaments as ‘exuberant beauty’. It has been 70 years now that smooth surfaces have been ruling over.

And yet, there are still today artists and designers, for whom harmony and wholeness play an incredibly significant role – creating atmospheres, whose daring interactions with the decorative, produce a magnified refinement in objects and interior spaces.

 

They do not differentiate the artistic genres, but develop aesthetic perspectives for handicraft objects and space, which bring together illustrations, furnitures design, tapestry, textiles, edging, ornament mouldings, stucco, and sustainable constructions.

 

These “Combinaisons ornementales” function like a kaleidoscope that transforms objects into entire works of art, mesmerizing their residents like in an aesthetical labyrinth.

 

 

Background:
The exhibition “Call me Ornament” is inspired from artists, such as Alfons Mucha or Henry van der Velde, whose lifework ranged from diverse genres in design. They perceived their environment as a scenery of life; a pragmatic programme with already set requirements, for which the best applies, that is, aesthetics pushed to its maximum.

 

These ambitious projects, which have devoted themselves to the aesthetics, stand and stood constantly under the suspicion of being superficial. It was already known that during the times of aesthetic aridity and the reduction of visible superfluous things, an empty surface can also entail an empty inside – that the unclear intensity of life experiences seems to be missing.

 

 

The collections of ornaments and models presented in the exhibition “Call me Ornament” relied on the concept of resonance as a basic yearning for a world answering to such desire. Here, the way life was experienced during Romanticism is revisited, that is an individual, introspective experience of life, as well as a moving out into the world so to speak, allowing to find one’s true home.

 

At the heart of this “feeling” of home appears a complete, differentiated sort of attention toward the world, which finds its point of departure in the sensual. Aesthetic formations always start with a feeling of sensuality, becoming first the centre of attention and out of which develops a certain playful relationship with the possible available significations: the sensuous activity will turn into a sensual figuration. Whether, as Dostojewski wrote, “the beauty redeems the world” remains to be seen, the fact that art and aesthetics are becoming a starting point for new visions of the future is something that even the “digital natives” are currently noticing. The sensuous perception, the moving of the soul, the joy experienced at the beauty of gardens and places, the peacefulness, and the contemplative gaze permit the appearance of new forms of fellowship, which in turn allow the development of new solutions.

 

 

Participating artists:

 

Atelier Mestdagh, Orson Oxo van Beek, Pernille Braun, Manuel Canu, Maarten de Ceulaer, Jojo Corväiá, Laurids Gallée, Naama Haneman, Jan Hooss, Zaratea Gården Hurtig, Helen Johannessen, Joshua Kerley, Vincent Knopper, Maxime Louis-Courcier, Kristine Mandsberg, La Double Clique, Lucia Massari, Pippo Monastra, Christopher Riggio, Laurin Schaub, Sarah Schrof, Thijmen van der Steen, Joseph Töreki, Iva Viana, Ward Wijnant, Zuber & Salzmann

 

 

Ward Wijnant