Daniel Blum biography



On the power of the familiar.

What happens when you wait and get bored?
You see what you didn't want to see.
You see what you have overlooked a thousand times.
The eye sees: tiles, paving stones, clouds, gravel,
Walls, puddles, facades.
But the imagination sees: people, castles, horses, storms, cities, murders, shores, kisses, flowers.
Do we sit in the front building and look out at the back on a plaster facade?
Or do we stand on the Sugar Loaf Mountain (or so) and see
Down to the bay, beach, city, trees, mountains?"1

The drawing by caricaturist Hans Georg Rauch and the congenial capture by architecture critic Manfred Sack invite us to spend time with what surrounds us; to replace, as it were, the wide angle with the close-up perspectice.

I do read this text and image as a plea for the inspiration that is found in the (re-) discovery of slowness and in the familiar, in the immediate, physical surroundings.

The current pandemic with its recurring lock-down situations directs us forcefully into this close-up perspective, into slowness, into the (seemingly) familiar.

Unlike many chamber journeys, (starting with de Maistre's "Voyage autour de ma chambre"2) the image of Hans Georg Rauch invites us to look outside, directing the view away from us.

But to look closely and discover inspirational moments in our everyday surroundings.

The drawing reveals itself over time, with a closer look and an open mind. It directs our view to what is right in front of us. There is plenty to discover.