artist / participant
Regen Projects is pleased to present an exhibition of recent photographs by Berlin-based artist Thomas Demand. Demand references preexisting media images, often of cultural, political or historical significance, divesting them of obvious referents, reducing them to a generic form and leaving an institutional blankness to each photograph as well as the loaded cultural background that often informs it.
Demand began as a sculptor and took up photography to record his paper constructions. He has said of his work "I'm combining a painter's and sculptor's concerns in a third medium photography". He begins with a preexisting media image, which he reinterprets and builds into a three-dimensional life-size model made from colored paper and cardboard solely for the purpose of being photographed. These models are photographed with a large-format-camera. Once they have been photographed the models are destroyed so only the photograph remains, except for the recent instance of the large scale "Grotto" which will be on view.
Demand's amazing craftsmanship means that the photographs often seem, at first glance, to record real places. But each of the photographs is one or more steps removed from reality, it is the photograph of a model based on a photograph of a real thing, creating tension between the fabricated and the real. The truth of photography is also at issue. He is highlighting the act of deception to provoke consideration of the way, in our media-saturated culture we absorb, believe and rely on second-hand information. The work forces you to look and look again at places that are at once familiar and alien.
Thomas Demand's work has been the subject of exhibitions throughout Europe, Asia, and the U.S. Recent solo exhibitions include the Serpentine Gallery, London; MMK, Frankfurtam Main, Germany; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; German Pavillion, Sao Paulo Biennale, Sao Paulo; "Phototrophy", Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek; Lenbachhaus, Munich, Germany; Castello di Rivoli, Turin, Italy; SITE Santa Fe, New Mexico; Palazzo Pitti, Florence, Italy; Fondation Cartier pour l'art Contemporain, Paris; Kunsthalle Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland.
Monographs of Demand's work have been published by the Serpentine Gallery, London; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; the Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz; Fondation Cartier pour l'art Contemporain, Paris; Le Channel, Galerie de l'ancienne poste, Calais and Centre d'art contemporain de Vassiviere en Limousin.
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