De Hallen Haarlem presented the first solo museum exhibition in The Netherlands by the German artist Daniel Roth. The show Serum traced the development of his art on the basis of existing and new work, from drawings, sculptures and photographs with a narrative character to ever more frugal, autonomous images in which the relation between the human body and the landscape is central. The title of this presentation was derived from the new installation which Roth had made especially for De Hallen Haarlem. This exhibition was on view from March 20 through June 6, 2010.
The strongly narrative side of Daniel Roth’s (Schramberg, 1969) work, with references to literary genres such as science fiction, as well as to writers of ‘existentialist ramblings’ such as W.G. Sebald and Robert Walser, is particularly expressed in his key work Glaswaldsee, from 2004. This installation is comprised of a tank filled with black liquid, a walking stick and drawings and photographs of existing and imaginary sites. The installation represents an imaginary structure on the floor of the Glaswaldsee.
Roth offers a rather ominous view of man’s irrepressible desire to manipulate his environment; malleability is a central theme in his work. In Roth’s universe we have drifted far from our original relation with nature, and he sketches various enigmatic scenarios for us by which this relation could be intensified.
Besides Glaswaldsee, the installation Serum was presented in De Hallen Haarlem. In the large space of the Verweyhal, through a group of sculptures and drawings and a 16 mm film, Roth visualised a museum which exists beneath the crust of the earth. The human body is transformed into abstract, anthropomorphic forms. Sculptural elements, made of wood or tree bark or on the contrary from synthetic materials, are combined with objects that resemble architectonic scale models or fragments of modernist furniture, fabricated from cold concrete. The 16 mm black and white film projection provides an associative background again