157,4 x 237,4 cm
Inv. Nr. 61
Photo: © VBK, Wien, 2011
Born in 1964 in Munich, Germany
Lives and works in Berlin, Germany
Thomas Demand originally studied sculpture at the Düsseldorfer Kunstakademie, and his photographs seem at first sight to share the aesthetics of Bernd and Hilla Becher’s objective photography, and of their students Thomas Ruff, Candida Höfer, Andreas Gursky, who attended the school at the same time. Demand makes mural-scale photographs of locations devoid of people. Instead of finding his subject matter in landscapes, buildings, and crowds, he builds perfect 1:1 models in paper and cardboard, reproducing scenes he finds in pre-existing photographs of an actual location sampled from various media sources. His ambiguous reconstructed scenes create tension between the fabricated and the real: everything is precise but fine details are still missing. The resulting large-format images are representations of highly symbolic locations where events that form part of the social, political, cultural and historical fabric of the nation took place, and Demand makes them look as a décor. His work offers a reflection on images created by the media. Demand knowingly uses the traditional role of photography as a faithful transcription of the world to cast doubt on the artificiality of his subject. The confusion between references is such that the very idea of an original recedes completely.