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Thomas Demand

Germany, b1964
Combining sculpture and photography, Demand produces disconcerting images. There are no people in his work, and very rarely any letters or numbers. His process begins with a found photograph – whether an image from the news or a postcard – from which he builds a full-scale model out of coloured paper and card. He photographs the completed structure and then destroys the model, leaving the image as the only trace of its existence.

Gangway 2001

Demand is interested in the links between modernism and the media. In Gangway, the viewer looks up at 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 this image is supposedly a news photograph of Pope John Paul II visiting Berlin. The work has the feel of a crime-scene photograph – relentless, mesmerising yet utterly ordinary.

View Gangway in the collection

Thomas Demand, Gangway 2001. John Kaldor Family Collection at the Art Gallery of NSW © Thomas Demand/Bild-Kunst. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney