Coming together for the final Ornamenta gathering of 2022, our faithful audience congregated at Schmutzige Ecke, the far corner of St. Martin’s Church next door to the Stadtmuseum Pforzheim we were confronted with the concept of dealing with uncomfortable truths and our subjectivity. In a technological world where truth is constantly under scrutiny how do we remain faithful to our pursuit of truth and where does subjectivity enter the fold?
We embarked on a journey that took us beyond the city limits of Pforzheim towards a hidden gem of Freudenstadt. During our excursion, Herbert Türk revealed the storied history of Waldlust, a grand hotel that first opened its door on 26th May 1900 and was visited by members of high society from all corners of the world including King Gustav V of Sweden and Canadian actress Mary Pickford. Yet, as time passed the grand hotel eventually became a lost place but kept very much alive by Türk and his colleagues at Denmalfreunde Waldlust e.V. As we arrived at this once majestic resort, now holding onto something both morbid and noble we considered that a collective subjectivity was emerging as we crossed the hotel’s threshold where we were met by artist Yvonne Droge Wendel. There, Dröge Wendel presented us with the concept that we need to develop new words for relationships between humans and objects, and how they work together. There is a metaphysical shade of grey to the idea of thingness, one with its roots deeply embedded in philosophy but stretching far out into the real world. These concepts are visible in Dröge Wendel’s works such as It makes you feel (2004) and Der Schwarze Ball (2000-Ongoing), and Furniture for a Think Tank (2010-Ongoing). It is clear to see in the presentation that Dröge Wendel’s work commits to making the audience focus and question the relationships we have with things and the spaces we inhabit, a kind of relational thingness. Taking our collective subjectivity and considering the atmosphere of Waldlust, we see that in the space of a lost thing truth is mutating through time and history – perhaps this will serve as a foundation to build together with Ornamenta as a lasting fundament for a faithful pursuit of collective subjective truth.