Interview with Daniel Rode

daniel rode goethe institut installation

Die Maria und der Hans
2012 by Daniel Rode
Text (half Greek, half German):
Maria loves Hans and Karin loves Jorgos…
…I guess

According to different sources, Hans and Karin were among the most popular given names in Germany in 1952. The same is assumed to apply to the typical Greek given names Maria and Jorgos. 1952 is the year the Goethe-Institut Athens was founded. The 60th jubilee in 2012 was the occasion for this installation.

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Daniel Rode, I am a visual artists. I do mainly installation based works in many cases with texts, so conceptual related. I have been living  in Cairo for four and a half years since 2009 but I’ll be moving back to Germany.

What themes do you pursue?

I like to work with texts, in terms of picking out phrases. But it’s important to take it out of the context and encrypt it so that you almost don’t understand what’s going on. One of the things I like to work with is mistakes that create situations that are open to many different interpretations. I like for the spectator to be confused. Confusion is a good situation for art because it’s not that simple sometimes.

So, has Bahrain inspired you?

Being in a new place or an exotic place is a dangerous situation for the artists because you lose that kind of freedom and power with what you work on. Because you’er touched and emotionally involved and that can distort your type of art. Even though I will probably work with a phrase I found here.

What was the last residency you were on?

Spain, in Mallorca in 2009. I did a series of drawings there.

I am really excited with what you will have ready for the installation project because you are a conceptual artist and have done many wonderful installations in the past.
What are some new works you have lined up?

Well I will probably do text based work here but I don’t think with light. I will get the text printed on a banner. I need the piece to be kind of big so I haven’t decided on a location.

What was the worst and best advice you have ever received?

The worst might be when I was at an art academy (before actually applying) on an open day and the professor said, “Don’t ever set your feet again into a German art academy.”
And the best was, “Don’t corrupt yourself, don’t try to be safe.” (I tried to include drawings into an installations which actually explain the installation, just a sketch, it doubled the work). So my professor said, “Trust your work, do not explain it. You should be confident to let your work stand alone.” So I left the drawing out.