2021 Solo Willem Harbers

A future now past

Solo Willem Harbers
21.01.2021- 06-03-2021

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Sometimes Willem Harbers' work seems to be an invention of a "mad scientist", but perhaps it would be better to compare him to a kind of archaeologist who came from the distant future and who brings with him material remains or "evidence" of our contemporary civilisation that he dug up somewhere in an attempt to understand mankind at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Because this man of the future somehow has to identify meanings, functions and connections - which is not always possible from the distant future perspective - he has to reinvent them on the basis of the few pieces of information he already has. His work therefore sometimes seems both archaic and futuristic. And there you can see affinities between the work of Willem Harbers and that of Panamarenko and Auke de Vries. They all seem to talk about contemporary society from a more or less external position, as if they look at us from a completely different perspective and comment on the absurdities they discover in our culture, trying to fathom us - but not really understand everything, so that their perspective differs somewhat. But this "being off" is what makes the works so fascinating. That is what makes the works seem so "in-between". Maybe that's why they can be read in so many different ways, on so many different levels...