© Thomas Demand

Public Housing, 2003
C-Print / Diasec, 100 x 157 cm / 39.4 x 61.8 in

Thomas Demand

In the series of striking contemporary artists of the younger generation presented at Louisiana, it is now the turn of the German photographer Thomas Demand (b. 1964). The exhibition is being shown in the museum's Graphics Wing and consists of some 25 of Demand's large photographic works from 1995 until today, as well as a couple of his new 35 mm films.

Demand's photographic worlds are not only uninhabited, they also lack any traces of social activity. Instead they all relate to places and actions we only sense. So despite the fact that Demand's angle on the subject is always the actively experiencing gaze of the photographer and the film-maker, his works - and thus we as spectators - are always situated at a distance from the world - between the documentary and the abstract.

The artist trained as a sculptor, and this can be clearly felt. Thus on closer scrutiny one should be able to see that the houses, the interiors and the vegetation - indeed the whole world in which he moves - are created from cardboard and paper and finally modelled into place by dramatic lighting. Not only does Demand creates something artificial in the photographs; he also points out that what you see is a scale model of something else, something primal. Thus one is made to reflect on the relationship with "the original", and in this respect Demand's repertoire is typically taken from the world of the mass media and its news of disasters.

The works play our collective memory and history off against a sensing of something "other" - a pattern that Demand carries over into his 35 mm films, where the pulsating frames and loops of the film strips at the same time underscore the constant recreation and artificiality of the frozen drama.

In the exhibition at Louisiana this experience is emphasized by the way the museum visitor is at first conducted through the animated darkness of the films, through the tunnel in Paris where Princess Diana's car crashed - only to encounter Demand's photographs: the razed conference room in Hitler's headquarters in 1944, the polling stations in Florida where the counting of the votes was stopped and George W. Bush was declared the winner, or a sense-overpowering clearing in the forest recalling classic Danish Golden Age art mocked up in the modern museum.

The exhibition is being arranged in collaboration with the artist and the Städtische Lenbachhaus in Munich and is the first true presentation of Thomas Demand in this country. In connection with the exhibition the two museums are publishing the special catalogue "Thomas Demand" in an English/German edition with a preface by the director Helmuth Friedel, Lenbachhaus, and Poul Erik Tøjner, director of Louisiana, and with other contributions by Susanne Gaensheimer, Collier Schorr, Neville Wakefield and Jeffrey Eugenides. Louisiana Magasin no. 10 also features an article on the artist by Günter Engelhard. Finally, in the upcoming issue of Louisiana Magasin no. 11, which will appear in November, there will be an article by the exhibition curator Anders Kold, Louisiana, about a visit to the studio of the artist.

DONG is the main sponsor of Louisiana's exhibitions in 2001-2005.

October 10, 2003 - February 15, 2004
Hours: Daily 10am - 5pm, Wed 10am - 10pm

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
Gl. Strandvej 13
DK-3050 Humlebæk
Telephone +45 4919 0719
Fax +45 4919 3505
E-Mail curator@louisiana.dk


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