Boarding a chariot – in this case, a Pforzheim city bus – Ornamenta’s intimate Friday ‘try-out’ gathering boarded a bus bearing a destination blind that read ‘Zum Eros’. An evening of romance via Technische Dienste Pforzheim cast against the backdrop of Nordschwarzwald is where cupid's arrow led to where all kinds of new devotions were on offer.
At our point of departure, Ben Epple presented modes by which to express contemporary forms of love through embracing certain aspects of tradition and collective desire. We asked how do we celebrate and profess different kinds of love with sincerity whilst taking pleasure in its ever-evolving form? There is an (im)possibility when trying to define what love is. Love can be something we feel, something we long for, something we give and something we receive, perhaps love is something we consume.
After cruising through the streets we arrived at Technische Dienste Pforzheim where historian Helge-Marie Dilger shared narratives of intimacy in traditional German folklore. Then, we boarded with modern dandy Luis Ake who professed his love for love and invited us to share in consolidated heartache – where artefacts had moved across screens, smoke and water now performed an intimate metaphysical dance suggesting that history and the elements have something to tell us if we are only willing to listen.
Before making our final departure and taking a leap of faith, Dutch artist Wouter Paijmans presented us with a series of ready-to-wear paintings dispersed around the terminus. Symbols of abandonment, redundancy, and reproduction connecting the relationship we have with mass consumption; love, desire, and the need to feel a sense of attachment to something… anything.
Drawing the evening to a close, a thread of collective questioning emerged, do we really need to define what love is in itself, or is accepting its unknowability the way to intimacy? Love may not be the thing or object (of desire), but rather the transfer from one state (of being) to another?