I was in a fantastic group show that I only found out about after it was over (probably my fault - but definitely something I hope never happens again, especially because the title in the catalog referenced the wrong work, I assume it is a bookkeeping error somewhere over the years). The show was curated by Cristoph Tannert, and I was sent several copies of the catalog. In it I saw a photo of my work (Abraham's Daughters - not the similar but different Conversation between Grandmothers - as it was listed). I have translated the text about my work from the catalog that you can read at the bottom.
But first I need to set the record straight.
"Conversation between Grandmothers"
I created this work "Conversation between Grandmothers" in 2010 (after I heard that some fanatics in Florida planned to burn the Qur'an). I interleaved the pages of a German Bible and a Syrian Qur'an. These books were lent to me for the show (after much begging) by two friends, both of whom had received the books as gifts from their Grandmothers. These holy books and their personal histories have a parallel to that of the roles played by these grandmothers in their respective social circles: supporting us, encouraging us and reminding us of the humanity in us all.
On the social side, it is also interesting that a very similar tradition exists in both cultures: namely that of passing down knowledge and wisdom.
I also made a quite surprising discovery. Once placed, these books could no longer be easily separated. Nature is responsible because the pages laid on pages created such a massive resistance force such that the books seemed to want to stay together. However, after the show I wrapped the books back up in their respective cloths and returned them to their respective owners. This first "Conversation" was over, the sculpture on loan had ceased to exist.
Before I dismantled the borrowed books, a friend named Pirusan Mahboob came to the show, saw the work and convinced me to make a second piece in the series, one that included the Torah as well. To bring three books together it felt somehow like adding another dimension to a hypercube. Instead of flattened out as with the first piece, there was now a pillar, and although flexible, the books remained glued together with (I assume) static energy and opposing shearing forces.
With permission of the Klassikstiftung Weimar and monument creators Ernst Thevis & Fabian Rabsch, the piece was installed for several weeks at the Hafez Memorial in Weimar. In the context of the "Weimar Dialogue for Peace" the installation of "Abraham's Daughters" was adopted by The Central Council of the Muslims.
(at its original place of installation, the Hafez Memorial in Weimar).
After the installation, the work has been seen in many group shows, most recently the group show "Weiter SO". I presume that it is now in storage with Galerie Eigenheim in Berlin.
Here is the text (my translation) from the catalog for the exhibition Weiter SO.
"[Abraham's Daughters] (2010/11) shows three interwoven books, it is the Bible, Koran and Torah, the Books of the three global religions. Daniel Caleb Thompson is an artist between traditional values and neverending reinvention. He creates works between science and technology, between found object and arte povera, between theatrical work and environment. Spanning medial forms, he questions obsolete theories and creates new ones. For example, he fused Bible, Koran and Torah into one object; or in one compound work composed of object, performance and installation he questioned the color-theory of historical Bauhaus Master Johannes Itten, and at the end of the day he finds Isaac Asimov's Laws of Robotics to be the greatest invention of the 20th Century - but he studied oil painting. It seems, as if he would hold the world together by constantly taking it apart. Thompson sees himself as a toolmaker and art is the most modern form of communication. As an artist this is why he is also to be found as the initiator of diverse projects and art spaces."
"Itten Was Wrong" Performance Series 2009 In this performance phase, I was waiting for Primary school teachers to come out of a conference about how to teach children about the three "primary" colors according to Itten.