Constructing the Authentic
Interview with German artist Thomas Demand about his work and method. Somewhere between sculpturing and photography, Demand’s pictures open new perspectives on reality and how we experience it.
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Even though he uses photography, Thomas Demand (b. 1964) does not regard himself as a photographer, but rather as a conceptual artist. Very often a known image – published for example in a newspaper – is the starting point of Demand’s creative process.
Taking the image as a point of departure, he then builds a three-dimensional model of it, very often using cardboard, adding or leaving out details present in the original picture. Then, Demand documents these sculptures through photographs, in the end destroying the sculpture, so that the photographs are the only thing left. Thus, in Demand works, reality is transformed several times. In the interview Demand explains his thoughts behind this method. In reality, Demand argues, all our memories are shaped by adding things and leaving others out.
Like in literature, pictures do no have to resemble the complexity of the real world, in order to be true. Even though very often using images from the world of politics and society, Demand does not see himself as a political artist. My pictures, he states, have to speak for themselves.
Thomas Demand was interviewed by Marc-Christoph Wagner. The conversation took place during the Two Days of Art-festival in May 2012 at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.
Music by: Trentemøller
Produced by: Martin Kogi & Marc-Christoph Wagner
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2013
Supported by Nordea-fonden