Anne Daems

9 July - 28 Aug 2005

A typology of day-to-day life: this is how the photographic registrations of Anne Daems could be described. With her work Daems (Lier 1966) has earned a singular reputation in Belgium and abroad. She photographs situations that are familiar to all of us, yet no longer noticed: people sitting behind a steering wheel at a traffic light, men drinking beer at a bar of a train station, cluttered shelves in a supermarket. Daems often takes many photographs of such subjects, in order to create series of similar types of events with various people or locations. They are observations of small moments in our daily environment. None of the subjects can be called spectacular, yet the isolated image in which the everyday occurrences  are captured is fascinating. The surprise lies in the manner of observation and in the attention given to this everyday quality. In an ostensibly unfamiliar and anonymous sequence of events, the images suddenly assume a narrative of their own. With her photographs Daems manages to impose a certain calm in our usual day-to-day haste. Because of this, there is a concern for the composition of the image, the surroundings of the scene and the suggestiveness of the depiction. Though her images are by no means ‘snapshots’, they cannot be described as staged or directed registrations either. The essence of the work is determined by the meticulousness of her observation and selection. This can also be said with respect to doorzichtige plastieken zakken (transparent plastic bags) (2003), a video work included in the exhibition.

In her drawings Anne Daems displays, once again, a remarkable gift of observation. Small day-to-day moments and events are drawn by her in an almost naive style. Frequently these drawings are provided with brief commentary. Text and image support each other in the extraordinary attention given to situations and incidents that ordinarily receive no concern or mention whatsoever. Daems allows us to contemplate things that we usually ignore.