What is Ornamenta?

ORNAMENTA 2024 is a regional cultural programme in Germany’s Northern Black Forest (Nordschwarzwald) that will take place from July to September 2024. Held first in 1989, Ornamenta will be re-launched as a platform for contemporary cultural development manifested through exhibitions, public installations, performances, galas, symposiums, and community events.

Local citizens, curious neighbors, and adventurous (inter)national visitors are invited to discover the often-overlooked Nordschwarzwald and to collectively reimagine the region through an exhibition route. The Northern Black Forest, made up of the cities of Alpirsbach, Calw, Pforzheim, Nagold, and Maulbronn, is a destination for nature tourism. This region of perpetual natural beauty also harbors fine metal industries, small spa towns, and a rich variety of communities and cultural landscapes.

Ornamenta literally blurs the region’s borders. For three months, municipal districts will be replaced by five thematic neighbourhoods – Gemeinden in German – that investigate topics of local and European relevance. These new Gemeinden, named Schmutzige Ecke, Zum Eros, lnhalatorium, Bad Databrunn, and Solartal, address and articulate issues that affect people across all layers of society. From sunshine and access to clean air to social taboos and technology, every Gemeinde is a site for interaction. Local communities and clubs present unexpected partnerships with international creatives, heritage institutions meet progressive artists, and designers propose new ideas to industries in the region. 

Ornamenta is dedicated to long-term development. The program has a strong focus on fostering emerging talent and creating opportunities for new generations of creatives, artists, and social organisations through the commission of temporary and permanent works. By setting up partnerships with regional industries and exhibiting works in unconventional, non-institutional contexts, the Nordschwarzwald will become a meeting place for the culturally curious – tightening relationships between local, national, and international audiences.