Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Thomas Demand.

Thomas Demand. Photographs by Thomas Demand. Text by Walter Abish, Mark Godfrey. SteidlMack, 2010. 226 pp., 35 color illustrations, 11½x11".

Munich-born artist and photographer Thomas Demand is not a photographer in the traditional sense of the word, but rather photography is the means in which he preserves and communicates his work, it adding the last layer to the process.

In this process Demand photographs paper models that's been built to scale. They are thereafter scaled down, emptied of any persons or events, leaving a 'ghost image' of what has once happened that seem simultaneously familiar and dreamlike.

'Thomas Demand' is a catalogue from the 2009 Nationalgalerie exhibition and brings together his work on German history after 1945, which is an examination of the 'Deutschlandbild' (German self-image).

"These reflections, reconstructed in photographs from a variety of scenarios in the postwar period, encourage the viewer to consider the complexity of the photographic document.

Demand’s representations of the social and historical are introduced not as monoliths but as places of multiple possibility, halls of mirrors in which the viewer is forced to confront - rather than be fed - potential distortions."

At the heart of his art is his concern with the flexibility of the human memory and the interaction between 'the central and peripheral image'. For Demand the photographer’s success can be found in 're-privatisating that which is constructed as a public opinion'.

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