News From Nowhere

FullHD video, 6 min, loop, 2012

In the projection 'News From Nowhere - acanthus' we take the 'arabesque' as a starting point. This famed motif, one of the most vivid and discussed topics in ornaments' history, vanished in the modernist era, while it before had survived and evolved over thousands of years. We reanimated this motif, painstakingly reconstructed from centuries old drawings into a 3d model. This model, in our hands, becomes a living organism that claims a new 3-dimensional space in between the two dimensions of the wall. As a metaphor for the forlorn visual language of a non-symbolic entity that shows us the deep surface of the world we live in nowadays- the world that becomes increasingly virtual, where time and space collide into an endless and timeless surface.

In 1890 William Morris wrote ‘News from Nowhere', a romantic socialist novel that takes place in the future (2021) in which he describes his vision of an ideal society, with ornament as it's main, unifying drive. In his view, London would be a pastoral city, where people would find pleasure in nature and work, more notably in their own handcrafted and adorned homes and surroundings, as opposite to the industrialized, unpleasant city London quickly was becoming. However, a few years later, Adolf Loos' Ornament und Verbrechen (1908) caused the opposite: ornament was 'banned' from society.