[PAST EVENT] Distinguished Visiting Artist, Thomas Demand

January 31, 2017
Andrews Hall, Room 101
605 Jamestown Rd
Williamsburg, VA 23185Map this location

Thomas Demand (born 1964) studied with the sculptor Fritz Schwegler, who encouraged him to explore the expressive possibilities of architectural models at the Kunstakademie D?sseldorf, where Bernd and Hilla Becher had recently taught photographers such as Andreas Gursky, Thomas Struth, and Candida H?fer. Like those artists, Demand makes mural-scale photographs, but instead of finding his subject matter in landscapes, buildings, and crowds, he uses paper and cardboard to reconstruct scenes he finds in images taken from various media sources. Once he has photographed his re-created environments?always devoid of figures but often displaying evidence of recent human activity?Demand destroys his models, further complicating the relationship between reproduction and original that his photography investigates.

Initially a sculptor, Demand first took up the camera to record his ephemeral paper constructions. In 1993 he began making constructions for the sole purpose of photographing them. Starting with an image culled from the media, Demand builds a full-scale model using colored paper and cardboard, photographs the scene, and destroys the model.

Demand  has been the subject of one-person exhibitions at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, and he has represented Germany at the Venice Biennale and the Bienal de S?o Paulo. Demand lives and works in Berlin.