In a world where friendly interactions and encounters have been excessively reduced and replaced by the beaming of a screen, non-virtual encounters are often left to those in love. Daniel Harms’ newest series ‘Couples’ showcases the intimacy and tangibility of romantic, real encounters.
Staying true to his large scale, the works engulf the viewer in scenes of love, quarrel, dispute, devotion and rejection. In contrast to his previous works they are less busy and ornate- their focus is strictly set on the couples, their faces becoming the conversation the viewer is forced to engage in.
The series therefore places the viewer into a scene, that unlike Harms’ previous works, we are used to – situations witnessed daily, so often that they go might go unnoticed. Compelling us to confront ourselves with the intensity of their interactions the works lend a sneak peak, a preliminary study into these couples lives. Limited by the restriction of the medium the viewer must rely on single situations, gesticulation, hidden signals and their body language rather than the spoken word. They are limited to that from which we restrict ourselves daily when interacting in the virtual realm. Suddenly the plates are turned and we are tossed into a world of gestures that we are currently used to only in the form of emojis.
What can the real give us when deprived of words? What do people say when they are not speaking? Harm’s series, though lighter in content than what we are used to continues to place the viewer in situations that require vital humanistic skills that we often ignore and perhaps stray away from. Along with the slightly more positive content comes a shift in Harm’s color scheme, the series utilizing a more colorful palette mirroring individual characteristic traits rather than an overall mood. It’s colors showcase the best of Daniel Harms employing his signature pastels combined with more radiant colors alluding to his earlier series. But what is certain is the backgrounds are getting lighter abolishing the undertone of negativity and converting it into a gush of emotions specific to each narrative. With these works he sets out a manifesto for life; one that requires us to question whether what is said is actually meant, one that sets emphasis on the interpretation and ultimately demands the effort of caring from its viewers. Timely as ever he prompts an active viewer and rejects the passive bystander allowing only those willing to trust their intrinsic instincts, daring enough to interpret to understand their relations. He pulls into question the dualism of judgment and enquiry by removing narrative and language. It therefore not only demands the need for interpretation but questions the negative connotations of judgments itself, forcing the viewer to see that the acts of judgment and negativity are not prompted by the deed but rather the effects of their evaluation. This series, rooted in cultural nuisance forces the viewer to take a step back, a second look in life and focus on little things capable of expressing the unspoken word in daily encounters.
Daniel Harms was born in October 1980 and has based himself in Berlin since 2007. Inspired by his own personal history and events deeply rooted in his home town Hamburg. Daniel creates art focused on alienation and connection. Reality is exaggerated so that it at times seem real simply through the exaggeration.
Harms art trademark colourful aesthetics showing characters in scenarios that overlap in time and space.
In the past Harms shared exhibitions with renowned artists such as Gerhard Richter, Georg Baselitz, Markus Lüpertz, A.R. Penk and H.R. Giger.