MEMORIES ON DEMAND – THE IMAGERY OF THOMAS DEMAND
Thomas Demand, internationally acclaimed as a »photographer«; but yet not your usual photographer, takes photographs of models; photographs that are mostly recreations of specific places. He builds life-sized models out of pasteboard and paper in his studio that are inspired by incidents he finds in the media and private photos. Even though the models require the greatest expenditure in the work process, he photographs them, destroys andt hen disposes them afterwards. His final photographic product evokes the collective memory. The viewer sees well-known visual images of scandals and political or social events which have long ago become part of our common visual consciousness. As much as Demand reduces the images to a few necessary details, the viewer develops his own fantasy being confronted with the all too familiar media images. This happens with the »Badezimmer«(Bath Room), where the Minister President of Schleswig-Holstein was found dead in a bathtub in a Geneva hotel in 1987.
Demand also has quite a sense of humor – as demonstrated in his piece »Landing«. It was inspired by an accident at the Fitzwilliam Museum in England. In January 2006, a man stumbled over his shoe string and fell down some stairs onthree 300 year old vases from the Quing Dynasty. All three vases broke. A mobile phone snapshot of the bizarre accident quickly found its way to the Internet. Incontestably, Demand has accentuated the comedic side for his reconstruction of this photograph of the accident. The themes Demand has made use of are multilayered, from an apparently coincidence to trivial happenings to the unforgettably tragic. Whether referring to political events or simply owing to the beauty of nature, all of his artworks never fail in their effect.
2011 | 27 min | HD | Motion Control Kamera | XD Cam HD | 16:9
TV Premier: June 12 – 2011, on ARTE