Monday, 20 May 2013

Thomas Demand

I also went to see the Thomas Demand exhibition on at the NGV. Although I really enjoyed it, I was not as interested as the Jeff Wall exhibition. The technique is quite fascinating - Demand builds (out of cardboard/paper/wire etc?) scenes that he has either imagined or seen elsewhere (I think he sources images from the internet for inspiration). Then he photographs the scenes. I think he doesn't keep any of the 'sets', which is quite amazing, as they would be amazing pieces of sculpture in their own right!! My notes are below.

Peg board 1996
Perfect from a distance, yet imperfections obvious close up.
Presented frameless, covered in Perspex, as if it really is a peg board
Slight discontinuities in the pattern
Clearing 2003
Thomas Demand German 1964- 'Lichtung / Clearing' 2003
taken from for personal study purposes

Backlit leaves in a forest
Yet dark too
Shafts of light
Shades of green
When you look carefully, realize its not real
Can see places where leaves are tied on
Trunk doesn't look quite right either
Painstaking work
The vision to imaging the final result!
Very 3 dimensional
Lighting v important, long tradition of German artists in the forest scenes
Copy shop 1999
Thomas Demand German 1964- 'Copyshop' 1999
taken from for personal study purposes

Cold and very absent of people.
Bathroom 1997
Thomas Demand German 1964- 'Badezimmer / Bathroom' 1997
taken from for personal study purposes

What is behind the curtain?
Rain 2008 (film)
Thomas Demand German 1964- 'Regen / Rain' (still) 2008
taken from for personal study purposes

Very realistic! Yet something not quite right.
Great! I like it!
Bit like jumping beans that never stay still!
Stop animation?
Pacific Sun 2012 (film)
Looks like it was done on computer? Very clever! And effective
Quite disturbing sitting still and watching the madly rocking destruction before my eyes.
Based on CCTV footage
Interesting Demand is following the photographer turned videographer trend…
Camera (film) 2007
Being watched…
Lawn 1998
Lighting looks a bit unusual…
A bland but every changing view of grass
A representation
shed 2006
No dirt/mess!
Space simulator 2003
Thomas Demand German 1964- 'Space Simulator' 2003
taken from for personal study purposes

child like imagination of what a space ship might be like
The perfection is startling
Out of our known experience
Grotto 2006
Thomas Demand German 1964- 'Grotte / Grotto' (detail) 2006
taken from for personal study purposes

Looks almost pixelated
Tribute 2011
Thomas Demand German 1964- 'Tribute' 2011
taken from for personal study purposes

Gives permanence to a scene that won't be repeated
Vault 2012
A hidden world, much like grotto, never to be visited by most of us
Control room 2011
Thomas Demand German 1964- 'Kontrollraum / Control Room' 2011
taken from for personal study purposes

Bland and featureless
Devoid of people
Obviously not real
Very new topographer
Pattern and repetition in the buttons, knobs and switches
Fukushima, taken on a mobile phone
Eerie sense of calm… After the storm
White panels fallen from ceiling during tsunami
People removed from the scene, dials and switches etc, text removed from warning signs etc
Life size environments, he can walk through them when built
Proportion, scale and form. Sculptor.
Bullion 2003
Thomas Demand German 1964- 'Bullion' 2003
taken from for personal study purposes

Paper of gold… A little joke I think?

Less interesting when Walls work. Clever but in a different way. Are they photography, or instead a photographic representation of an artwork (sculpture?). Does it matter? All the errors/imperfections are made by him. Why is it different to taking photos of the actual space, devoid of people? What is the meaning behind them?

Like Wall, images are big prints, but they feel like the 'right' size.
The pseudo documentary style is interesting. Many or all of the scenes are based on actual locations, most are 'important' in some news worthy way… Is he commenting on the speed of news photography, the immediacy of it? The Impermanence (he generally destroys his sets)?

Other photos are of places the average person will never get to… The grotto, space simulator etc. others are comments on the technology… The bullion as cardboard, the CCTV camera watching you as you watch the video, the rain made of paper… interesting and playful twists on his chosen medium.


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