Thomas Demand’s work is specific: he often begins with a photograph, whether a news photograph or a postcard, and then builds a life-sized model of it in paper. He photographs the completed structure from a fixed point of view and then destroys it. The resulting images – which, because they are based on models, never feature people and only rarely letters or numbers – often seem reminiscent of a scene previously viewed, but the effect is elusive.
In ‘Gangway’ the open empty doorway of a generic passenger jet rendered both unspectacular and uncanny. Any number of famous people might have stood waving from the top of the stairs, but the source for the work is supposedly a news photograph of Pope John Paul II visiting Berlin.
Thomas Demand in conversation at the Art Gallery of NSW
type C photograph/ Diasec
225.0 x 180.0 cm
Gift of the John Kaldor Family Collection 2016. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Not on display
© Thomas Demand/Bild-Kunst, Bonn. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney
Shown in 2 exhibitions
Journey to now: John Kaldor art projects and collection, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, 18 Apr 2003–06 Jul 2003
The Same River Twice: Part 1, Institute of Modern Art, Fortitude Valley, 06 Dec 2008–28 Feb 2009
Referenced in 5 publications
Wayne Tunnicliffe (Editor), John Kaldor family collection: Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2011, cover (colour illus.), 246, 247 (colour illus.). cover illustration is a deatil
Unknown, Thomas Demand, 2009, (illus.).
Unknown, Thomas Demand: l'esprit d'escalier, 2007, (illus.). no.10
Unknown, Thomas Demand: phototrophy, 2004, 42 (illus.).
Adam Free, Journey to now: John Kaldor art projects and collection, Adelaide, 2003, 32 (colour illus.), 60.