Romanticism vs. reality

Eleonora Esse

Is romantic love a cultural misconception? The installation is made of luminescent glass pebbles. The idea behind this project is that the heritage of Romanticism has caused a cultural idealization of love that generates loneliness and dissatisfaction. Do we expect too much from what we believe to be romantic love? 

Are our expectations unrealistic because we are heirs to a culture that apparently celebrates love but in reality increases our emotional instability? Have pop music, movies and Walt Disney cartoons influenced our romantic imagination?

Romantic love is in total contrast to the reality of everyday life, marriage and family life. We can console ourselves with the fact that our dissatisfaction and loneliness is unlikely to be from our poor choice in partners, and that ending a relationship is not the answer to waning love.

Love is an act of choice and is not constant, it ebbs and flows like our emotions. Unwavering love for one doesn’t come naturally, but it can be learned. We are all imperfect and there will never be one person who will meet all our needs and vice-versa. Loneliness and unhappiness in a relationship are transient and normal feelings. When we realise this, I think it’s possible to fall in love again with our partner. Don’t you think?

This work is inspired by Alain de Botton's ideas on romantic love.

Eleonora Esse

Eleonora Esse was born in Rome in 1979 and lives in Frankfurt since three years. She has a degree in History of Cinema. She has worked as an independent art curator and managed an art gallery in Rome for several years. Her work as an artist aims to express what life teaches her, focusing on essential Christian values and what matters most to lead a life of purpose. She has also worked as a model, a per-school teacher, and a cook.


Romanticism vs. reality

Lichtkunst Outdoor

  • 12.–15.03.20, 19:30–22:30 Uhr
  • Garten Instituto Cervantes, Staufenstrasse 1, 60323 Frankfurt am Main

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