Thomas Demand, Fenster (Window),
1998, C-print and Diasec, 6 ft. 1/16 in. x 9 ft. 4 5/16 in. (183 x 286.5)
the Artists: Thomas Demand
do the people of Germany respond to your work? Do you have greater or less
response outside of Germany?
seems like more response outside of Germany - I assume that is because I
lived for years in different cities such as London, Paris and New York. I
sometimes think this broad end is my way of reading a work as well as it
made me identifying some German links in my thinking, too.
2: Do you have
students or interns who assist you with your work?
have an assistant for my administrative work, I learned that my talents
aren't in paperwork.
3: Is your work meant to
convey a certain amount of humor?
of course not! Its dead-serious stuff.
4: When did you first discover
that you wanted to be an artist?
don't remember such a sudden discovery, but I also never seriously
considered doing anything else.
5: How do you choose your subject
matter? When you see images in the media, what kind of images stand out to
you as potential subject matter for your photographs and why?
|When I start a piece, I usually carry around
a vague idea of the image for some time. I start collecting pictures,
memories and all kinds of things related to that work. It might be a
formal one or a concept how a picture using the media might make sense, ie.
in which photography itself might become the model. It usually also has to
match different layers of meaning (such as biographical readings, being
art-related or significant within the context of the work I've done so
far) until I think its worth the effort.
6: Is the photograph of an
architectural studio that you have on display at the Carnegie based on
your grandfather's studio?
|No, its not. I had a place in mind where
projects and ideas are sketched and developed.
Like an architectıs office.
Architecture has always been in the centre of my attention, because it
deals with utopias and ideas of a somehow better future. the source showed
a room in Munich, where after the war the rebuilding of the inner city was
There Le Corbusierıs dream of modernity, a tabula rasa in place of the
historic city became a grim reality, but the avantgarde was not available.
Thus, the leading figure of this re-invention became a person who found
his niche during the Third Reich by designing post offices in the Bavarian
countryside. One of them in the village where I grew up. Now my
Grandfather enters the stage: it happened to be that he was in charge for
the city's regulations of what can be built (Oberbaurat) after the war, so
he cooperated with that old man on a daily basis. It felt like a circle is
completing, where public imagery coincidentally lapsed into my own
upbringing and backwards.
7: Do you destroy all of your
models immediately after you take the photographs?
|They fall apart anyway. They have one peak
of perfectness, of immaculate beauty, sometimes just for a day or so. If
you don't catch the shot on that day, its gone. I prefer to get rid of
it after that. It feels like some kind of liberation, considering that I
spend most of my time with it for some month.
Demand's CI:99/00 page
of the Week Calendar