Ornament und Verbrechen
Two billboards on the Kurfürstenstraße at the corner of Potsdamer Straße in Berlin have displayed for ten days the portrait of Captain Hendrick Witbooi, the former leader of the Namibian resistance against German colonization. This portrait is part of a series held in the Kolonialen Bildarchiv (colonial image archive) in Frankfurt a.M. The image has however been digitally altered to simulate the texture and color of the mud bricks of the building on which the billboards stand. The title is homonymous with the text written by Adolf Loos in 1908, three years after Captain Witbooi died in combat with German troops, and the same year that the Namas and Herero troops surrendered after the genocide of their people. This text has been one of the most influential in modern and contemporary architecture, but little has been analyzed its racist language and how this text has permeated with its language the practice of architecture.