Fabian Knecht


Ornament is a performance in public space which confronts us with our fears. Over a period of three months some thirty people will be involved in this “action”, each for one to two hours, hanging on the walls of buildings that can be seen from Hansaplatz.

A person hangs on the wall of a house: a scene we know from the cinema. It is usually followed by a hand reaching out to save them. This is not a film, however, but an actual person hanging from the dizzying heights of a roof. On closer observation it becomes clear that the person seems neither hectic nor desperate but is completely calm. It is this that identifies what they are doing as an artwork. The performance Ornament provokes immediate physical reactions, demands that the viewer confront what is happening as it happens. It requires no knowledge of art history. It will affect everyone who sees it – even if it is a chance encounter. The boundaries between art and everyday life are lifted.

In all locations from which the hanging person can be seen, signs will be put up explaining and contextualizing this as an artwork. The signs also mention that the artist or someone else involved in the project is on site to answer any questions. This makes it possible to respond to the individual viewers and their various reactions and encourage an exchange with local residents. In order to guarantee the safety of the performers the following precautions will be taken in cooperation with a professional stunt company: all stunt men and women are experienced climbers and used to heights; they are correctly insured and comply with all safety standards. Furthermore, at least one other person will be on site to check the safety mechanisms.