Daniel’s work explores ideas about historical memory, official historical narratives, and what he terms the politics of remembering. He does this through life-size figurative drawings that combine historical texts, the human body, plants, and animals to generate strong spaces that work as poetic imagery, probing the dynamics of narratives in history and historical memory. This represents an exercise not only of why and what, but also of how we remember, especially in societies with conflicting narratives, obfuscated historical memories, and legacies of colonialism.
This work has driven him to create images that replace the common container metaphor of memory with one that understands memory as something dynamic and interconnected; something alive, inhabited by ideas, narratives, and discourses that live, age, die (or are killed); something like an ecosystem of memories and narratives. With this work, he aims to explore the complexities of the processes of remembering and create images that uncover and define the powers at play in memory; memory’s ability to define us; and the fragility, dynamism, and interconnectedness of the narratives, ideas, etc. that inhabit these processes.
In Daniel's life, a multiplicity of narratives and multinational experiences has made him think deeply about the dynamics of discourse and narratives in our societies, especially as an Afro-Latino in the Americas. For Daniel, the intersection of different identities has profoundly influenced his work. His experiences as the son of a human rights lawyer and a social worker in a multiethnic and multiracial family in Colombia; as a victim of forced displacement from his hometown in 1989; as an Afro-Colombian who studied at a HBCU in the US South; and as a citizen living in Colombia and grappling with the legacies and present realities of its civil war; these experiences have all presented points of encounter with the forces of history’s multiple faces—unofficial, alternative, contested, surviving—that build and situate someone’s identity.
His work engages with what he calls political figuration, wherein, through life-size drawings of fragmented print and hand-written texts, bodies, and portraits, he aims to explore and interrogate the forces at play in his own historical reality, the clash of the official and un-official historical memories, and what constitutes a politics of remembering