1st Floor, Galleries 8 and 9
Thomas Demand is interested in how we absorb information and experiences through the media, or as he puts it - how ‘things just enter reality through photographs’. Such experiences are indirect and cannot be verified, particularly since the arrival of digital imaging. Demand is concerned with how the images we are offered in photographs, film and television present a significant incident without ever settling on a singular version of reality.
His working process usually begins with the selection of an image taken from the press or media. It may depict an event which contains elements of his own national history, Germany from the 1930s onwards, or an event that is of wider significance. From this he painstakingly re-constructs the scene in his studio, creating a life size, three dimensional model from paper and cardboard; in fact every conceivable material whether natural or synthetic is fashioned from these. Then with a large format camera he makes a large scale photograph of the recreated scene.
However, this illusion reveals the occasional trace of another kind of reality – its own fabrication. The scenes he presents transfix and combine the factual evidence with a manufactured sense of artificiality.