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Ornament and Delict


In 1908 Adolf Loos published one of his most celebrated text by the Modernist Movement: 'Ornament und Verbrechen'. The original was controversial at the time. It spoke about how the modern men should pursuit the simplification of objects, making craftsmen who would get more benefits and the possibility of enjoying more free time. This revolutionary vision for the working class in Europe at the time, contrast with the racist ideology that Loos used at the beginning of the text, where he describes the Papua culture as degenerate and less developed based using arguments about their tattoos. Adolf Loos uses the analogy of human civilisation and the life of man, in which the Papua correspond to the children and the modern European man (he) corresponds to the adult man.
For this intervention I have selected two billboards located at the junction between Kurfürstenstrasse and Postdammerstrasse in Berlin. The names of these two streets are reminders of a time where Germany colonies in Papua New Guinea and what is today Namibia were based on: political and pseudo scientific discourses that legitimised atrocities and vandalism in foreign lands. The two billboards will host a temporary homage for Kaptein Hendrick Witbooi who died in battle against the German occupation of what is today Namibia.