In the “Golden City”, the greatest treasure may be the inexhaustible wealth of multicultural influences, with the one thing binding it all together being the ornament. How then, can an exploration of the function of ornaments allow us to see the cultural-psychological impact of decorative beauty? Ornaments help us to locate identity, tell stories, organise our actions, express memory, and individualise: they also guide our attention, create experiences, adorn as well as re-present. These sentiments coarse throughout the ”Goldstadt” with equal intensity; from the facade of the Wellendorf family jewellery business to the intricate modifications adorning member vehicles of a local car tuning club; and from the 5000-year-old snake bangle sitting in the Pforzheim Jewellery Museum to the serpentine lettering of the Pasha kebab restaurant just some 200 meters away, the ornamental charm of Pforzheim’s heritage is consistently expressed. Charged with Pforzheim’s ornamentality, we presented two films while experiencing the corporeal dimension of the ornament; a discussion followed about how the beauty and power of the ornament inform bodily experience and interconnection.
In a city that is dedicated to gold, jewels and handicrafts while its greatest treasure is its inexhaustible wealth of multicultural influences, the one thing to connect it all might be the ornament. Something that lacks for itself a universal description but can describe anything at the same time. Something whose beauty lies not only in its various forms & shapes but also in the fact that it does not need words or a visual systematic to exist and to reflect a most human desire to express and create endless diversity.
We find it in the 5000-year-old snake bangle from the Pforzheim jewellery museum as well as in the lettering of the Pasha kebab restaurant 200 meters away. It lives with the same intensity in the straightforward facade of the Wellendorf family business as in the embellishments of the modified vehicles of the car tuners Black Forest Society Pforzheim. And, fortunately, it is also found in the meandering course of the Enz, Nagold and Würm rivers. These drive us – with a detour to the banks of the Seine in Paris – to Bad Wildbad, where the water, and thus perhaps the ornament, is said to have special healing power. Thrown off the too straight track in this positive way, we drift on to the municipal cinema of Pforzheim, where we are allowed to bring two films into the program – together with representatives of the Queer Space Pforzheim.
Charged with the ornamentality of Pforzheim, we witness not only these two film works but also experience the corporeal dimension of ornament and develop a discussion about how the beauty and power of ornament and body experience a connection. Thereby, the ornamental beauty of Pforzheim itself is not only expressed by opening up these thoughts to us – but also, and above all, by tearing us away from them and letting us fall back onto its streets where values such as excellence and precision are not only concepts to be found in the closed treasury of the jewellery manufacturer Wellendorf – but also in every corner of a city, that is its very own ornament.