photo: Thomas Demand, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn© Thomas Demand, 2015

Photos can look convincingly real and surprisingly artificial. The work of German-born international artist Thomas Demand is characterized by a turbulent balance between reality and artifact. Demand was born in 1964 and studied for sculpture, but began using photography as a means of documenting his temporary paperwork. In 1993, Demand changed the direction of his work by creating constructions only for photography purpose. Thanks to the combination of equal parts of conceptualism and craftsmanship, Demand takes photography as a means of expression towards boundaries uncharted before.

The audience who sees the images of Thomas Demand for the first time may not immediately realize their importance and their narrative background. In the absence of an explanatory text during their desplay at the gallery, the images show empty places without any identifying details. When you see a conference room full of garbage, the viewer may not realize that it is the scene of a failed attempt at Hitler’s killing; in confronting the pictures of some common apartments, the viewer may not assume that they belong to the embassy of Nigeria in Rome, in which someone secretly stole idle letters with the official logo, letters wich afterwards were used to fabricate proof that Iraq was trying to buy uranium from Nigeria; the viewer may not notice the fact that a ruined kitchen in one of Demand’s pictures is the place where dictator Saddam Hussein cooked his last meal before he got caught.

Demand begins with influential images selected by the media, usually images from a political event, which he transforms into a model of its own natural size, achieved with colorful paper and cardboard. Reproductions of architectural spaces and natural environments from Demand, all hand-made, build on the image of other images. So his pictures are threefold away from the scenes or objects they intend to describe. Immediately after photographing, he destroys all patterns.

Three photographic works from Demand: Tribute 2011, Attraction / 2013, as well as Sign / 2015, which is exhibited for the first time in COD, have been displayed at the main lobby of the Center for Opennes and Dialogue – COD. The composition describes a work scene where a symbol is being produced for the New York World Fair “Building the World of Tomorrow”. At this fair, organized in 1939, one of the greatest narratives from the era of the Machinery was promoted: undisputed belief in science and technology as tools that stimulate economic well-being and personal freedom, while emphasizing consumption of products and innovations of ideas and forms. Consequently, the shaking of hands symbolizes “partnership between people of the world through consumer society”. Portrayed in an unfinished form, the Sign seems to address the unresolved, troublesome and hopeless issues that this symbol once referred to.

Thomas Demand jeton e punon në Los Anxhelos dhe Berlin. Veprat e tij janë paraqitur në një sërë ekspozitash anembanë botës, duke përfshirë Galerinë e Re Kombëtare në Berlin, 2009; Muzeun Irlandez të Artit Modern në Dublin, 2007; Galerinë “Serpentine” në Londër, 2006; Fondacionin “Prada” në Itali, 2006; Muzeun e Artit Modern në Nju Jork, 2005; Galerinë e Arteve “Bregenz” në Austri, 2004 Fondacionin “Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain” në Paris, 2000.

Thomas Demand lives and works in Los Angeles and Berlin. His works have been featured in a number of exhibitions around the world, including the New National Gallery in Berlin, 2009; Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin, 2007; Serpentine Gallery in London, 2006; Foundation “Prada” in Italy, 2006; Modern Museum of Art in New York, 2005; Art Gallery “Bregenz” in Austria, 2004 Foundation “Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain” in Paris, 2000.