Tag Archives: Thomas Demand

Exploring Space and Place with Beate Gütschow, Andreas Gursky, Candida Höfer

“Through the Lens of Candida Höfer,” interview profile courtesy AsiaAlter

In Lost Places: Sites of photography at Hamberger Kunsthalle in Germany (through September 23, 2012), 20 innovative contemporary photographers respond to the question: ”What happens to real places if a space loses its usual significance and can be experienced on a virtual plane?”

These artists, many who came out of Bernd and Hilla Becher’s renowned Dusseldorf School of Photography, which championed the de-emphasis of the perspective of the photographer and focus on the object’s command over the frame, present the documentation of landscape at a time when traditional notions of “space” and “place,” for better or worse, are rapidly changing.

Artist included in the exhibition are: Thomas Demand (b. 1964), Omer Fast (b. 1972), Beate Gütschow (b. 1970), Andreas Gursky (b. 1955), Candida Höfer (b. 1944), Sabine Hornig (b. 1964), Jan Köchermann (b. 1967), Barbara Probst (b. 1964), Alexandra Ranner (b. 1967), Ben Rivers (b. 1972), Thomas Ruff (b. 1958), Gregor Schneider (b. 1969), Sarah Schönfeld (b. 1979), Joel Sternfeld (b. 1944), Thomas Struth (b. 1954), Guy Tillim (b. 1962), Jörn Vanhöfen (b. 1961), Jeff Wall (b. 1946) and Tobias Zielony (b. 1973).

Gursky, Höfer, Ruff, Struth, and Wall were all featured in Stefan Gronert’s large-format volume The Dusseldorf School of Photography (Aperture 2010). In the fascinating video series “Contacts: The Renewal of Contemporary Photography,” Gursky and Wall describe the methodology behind their work.

In 2005, Aperture also published Höfer’s monograph Architecture of Absence, which features her meticulously composed images of public spaces marked with the richness of human activity, yet largely devoid of human presence.

Gütschow, “who constructs cityscapes and landscapers that are reminiscent of well-known places, but that do not allow any true reference” for her photographs in this exhibition, did a monograph with Aperture as well in 2007 called LS/S.

Work by Joel Sternfeld was featured in Aperture issue 192 and 180. Guy Tillim appears in Aperture issue 193.

Lost Places: Sites of Photography
Exhibition on view:
June 8 – September 23, 2012

Hamberger Kunsthalle
GlockengieBerwall 20095
Hamburg, Germany
+49 (0) 40-428-131-200

25 Years 25 Artists: An Interview with Julie Saul

Julie Saul © Elliot Black Photography

Art dealer Julie Saul was honored for her contributions to photography at last year’s Aperture’s 2010 Benefit. This year she commemorates her gallery’s 25th anniversary with the exhibition 25 Years/25 Artists and an accompanying catalogue. The show features a single photograph from each year of her gallery’s history and will be on view through Friday, August 26th. Among the artists include Luigi Ghirri, Maira Kalman, Sally Gall, Penelope Umbrico and James Welling.

What are some of your favorite photobooks?

Some of the earliest books when I first became interested in photography. There were very few books published on photography so you could virtually own all of the photography books back in the 70s. There was Diane Arbus, there was George Platt Lynes there was Danny Lyon…but there were very few books so you ended up spending a lot of more time really scrutinizing the individual images than you do today because now there are so many you can barely flip through the books that you own. Perhaps my favorite photobook was one given to me when I left the Met’s department of 20th century photography where I interned in 1982. They gave me this gorgeous huge George Platt Lynes book that I think was one of the first books published by Jack Woody with Twin Palms, and I loved that book. Then I did a show of his work later at my gallery and somebody stole it! It had been signed by everybody in that department and that was truly one of the worst losses that I have had.

What has been your favorite show you’ve seen this summer?

La Carte D’Après Nature at Matthew Marks, curated by Thomas Demand. I love the fact that it was curated by an artist. I think shows curated by artists are very interesting and it gives me a whole new insight into Thomas Demand’s work. It also includes 50 prints by one of my favorite photographers who I have shown a couple of times over the years- Luigi Ghirri.

You were the first American dealer to show Ghirri’s work, correct?

I was. And I still think that he is a completely brilliant and under-recognized (although probably not for long) European artist. He’s sort of the William Eggleston of Europe in the 70s, and from what I’ve seen from European work of that time, particularly of Italian work, it was very romantic, it was black and white. Ghirri had this very conceptual point of view and worked in color and really understood media so I think that it’s great that he’s finally getting the attention he deserves. Seeing his work in the context of the Matthew Marks exhibition will really be an important step for him.

What are some of your most meaningful relationships that you have had with artists over the years?

Often a long relationship is a good relationship and you can get used to each other and you get closer to each other just like a long term [romantic] relationship. If you look at my 25th Anniversary show, the first artist I ever showed, Andy Bush, is still with the gallery and we’ve certainly had our ups and downs over the years but I’ve been able to gain an understanding of the way he works and thinks by having such a long term relationship. I would say that what makes a good relationship is the artist’s ability and willingness to really collaborate with you. Not to see the gallery as a battlefield, but see it as a matrimonial bed, a place of collaboration, sharing resources and ideas. One of the more fun things I’ve done is working with Maira Kalman who had never really had gallery representation before because she normally does books, theater design, textile design and applied arts. So for her it has been a great adventure, and for me to figure out how to promote some of these works, because she has never thought about trying to fit within the traditional gallery system, its been really fun.

Although you represent artists working in a variety of media, what made you want to specialize in photography?

I started with a specialization in photography because I felt like it was important to have a distinct identity within the larger New York art world. Within my larger academic studies in art history I did my thesis on a Bauhaus photographer, but as you know the Bauhaus is about work in many different media. Maholy Nagy believed that every medium has its proper application so he thought for representational art, photography was the medium and for abstract art, painting was the medium. I identify with, and show a great deal of, photography but my interests and enthusiasms are by no means limited to strictly photography. And furthermore a lot of the artists I represent, actually enjoy working in the way that I described, different media for different projects. I’m very interested in artists who take a very freewheeling approach to the medium.

What are some of things you are most proud of exhibiting over the past 25 years?

Well I think the 25th Anniversary show itself is a good example of that. We do eight or nine shows a year and I’ve had the difficult task of choosing one work from one show during a year where literally hundreds of works have been exhibited.

More information about Julie Saul Gallery.

Click here to buy tickets to Aperture’s 2011 Benefit and Auction, honoring Bruce Davidson, Gerhard Steidl and Robert Anthione.

But is it photography?


By now you might have heard of Sean O’Hagan raising a ruckus about the Deutsche Börse Prize and the Photographers’ Gallery. Apparently, there has been some debate about the gallery, which I haven’t followed. If what I see is correct, it’s about whether or not the gallery’s curators are doing a good enough job picking photography. O’Hagan uses this as a backdrop to complain about the Deutsche Börse Prize: “I have already written on this subject with regards to the Photographers’ Gallery, and stand by my conclusion that it should rebrand the Deutsche Börse as a conceptual photography prize.” (more)

First of all, I always finding arguing about prizes a bit silly, because, let’s face it, a prize is a prize. There might be a lot of money attached to it, but we’re not really talking about the Nobel Prize here. And even the Nobel prizes have these kinds of debates every year. Just look at how people complain about how the “wrong” person won the Peace or Literature Prize.

That aside, here’s the Deutsche Börse shortlist from 2010: Anna Fox, Zoe Leonard, Sophie Ristelhueber (winner), Donovan Wylie. Here’s 2009: Paul Graham (winner), Emily Jacir, Tod Papageorge, Taryn Simon. Here’s 2008: John Davies, Jacob Holdt, Esko Männikkö (winner), Fazal Sheikh. And let’s do one more, 2007: Philippe Chancel, Anders Petersen, Fiona Tan, The Atlas Group (winner). We can probably all agree that that’s a pretty diverse group of photographers, isn’t it? Would it make sense to rebrand the Deutsche Börse Prize as a conceptual photography prize given the variety of photographers shortlisted over the past years? You decide.

But there’s more. In his article, O’Hagan then singles out Thomas Demand and discusses his work, writing “Demand is essentially an installation artist, who builds three-dimensional, life-size replicas of places he has come across in found photographs.” (That’s a Thomas Demand photo at the top of this post) As you can imagine this set-up inevitably leads to the question: “The question is, though, is he the most intriguing photographer? Is he a photographer at all?”

The first question is either yes or no, depending on whether you think Demand is the most intriguing photographer. I don’t think so, but I’m perfectly happy with other people disagreeing with me. I’m not the biggest fan of conceptual photography, because for me, it’s usually too obvious. But should Thomas Demand win the Prize (I have no idea), I’m perfectly happy with that. You can say whatever you want but Demand’s approach to investigating what images say and mean is pretty unique.

The second question really gets me, though. Is Thomas Demand a photographer at all? Well, let’s see. When I go to an art gallery to look at a Thomas Demand exhibition, what do I see? Photographs on the wall. You can’t miss them. They’re huge. So why is Demand not a photographer?

OK, I was a bit facetious there. But still… Of course, Demand photographs installations that he creates based on older photographs. The end product – that is photography. Demand is not showing the sets he builds. In a sense, the sets are irrelevant for what he is after. To focus on the sets is like focusing on the fruits and vegetables in a still life and to then argue that the photographer is in fact in the fruits and vegetable business.

Photography has come a long(ish) way (let’s try to remember photography’s real age compared with other arts forms). It now contains a plethora of different types and ideas, ranging from street photography to photography done by machines, with a ton of stuff in between. Each of those different types offers different things. The real promise of contemporary photography lies not in what one type has to offer, but in the combination of what all of them combined have to offer. For any one type we should not be asking “Is it photography?” We should be asking “What is this type of photography doing? What is it telling us?”

And we might not like one type (or more than one). But I think we should be careful not to exclude some types of photography simply because we don’t like them, or because they’re not “photographic” (or orthodox) enough. Photography is what it is, and over the next decades it will probably include even more types. That’s what makes contemporary photography so exciting.

Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2011

As a key event in the UK’s photography calender, the 15th Deutsche Börse Photography Prize has finally opened it’s doors at Ambika P3. The winner, to be heralded as the photographer who has made “the most significant contribution to photography in Europe between 1 October 2009 and 30 September 2010”, will be announced on the 26 April from the shortlist of Thomas Demand, Roe Ethridge, Jim Goldberg, and Elad Lassry.

© Thomas Demand, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn/ DACS

Demand’s concise yet strangely unsettling images explore German social and political life, with spaces ranging from the interior of the Bonn Parliament in the late 1960s to the artist’s’ childhood room. His works subtly reveal the mechanisms of their making, and challenge the viewer’s perception of reality by examining memory and photographic truth.

© Roe Ethridge/ Courtesy of Greengrassi London/ Andrew Kreps Gallery/ Mai 36 Gallery

Blurring the boundaries of the commercial with the editorial, and the mundane with the highbrow, Roe Ethridge’s conceptual approach to photography is a playful comment on the traditions and conventions of the medium itself. Often borrowing ‘outtakes’ from his own commercial photography work, Ethridge readily juxtaposes a catwalk shot with a still-life of a pumpkin or a pastoral scene of cows grazing. His distinct yet elusive and poetic groupings of portraits, landscapes and still lifes, create new associations and embrace the arbitrariness of the image and image making.

© Jim Goldberg/ Magnum Photos

Jim Goldberg’s series Open See documents the experiences of refugee, immigrant and trafficked populations who travel from war torn, socially and economically devastated countries to make new lives in Europe. Originating from Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East, these ‘new Europeans’ have met violence and brutality as well as hope and liberation in their new homes. Goldberg employs his varied and experimental approaches to photographic storytelling to reflect on issues of migration and the conditions for desiring escape through the exploitation of a range of photographic vernacular and moving image.

Image © Elad Lassry, Courtesy of David Kordansky Gallery

In his seductive yet detached photographs and films, Elad Lassry highlights the strange in the over-familiar. Drawing on source material such as advertising and stock imagery for inspiration, Lassry’s over-saturated photographs are often collages of pre-existing images or newly staged studio photographs that allude to the visual language of product photography. Constantly shifting between ‘original’ and found materials, Lassry instigates a dialogue between photography and the moving image to explore ideas of authorship, originality and appropriation.

If you’re excited, disgruntled or feeling generally pensive about the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize, we’ve started a discussion on Facebook where you can bounce ideas around.

highlights – 21.02.2010 | euromaxx

In this highlights edition: Cinema for Peace 2010This year’s Cinema for Peace gala once again attracted a host of celebrities. Hollywood star Leonardo di Caprio was there as well as regulars cinema legend Catherine Deneuve and Irish musician and activist Bob Geldof.Dutch Designer Maarten BaasMaarten Baas found fame by torching some of the 20th century’s most important design works. The 31-year-old furniture maker became the youngest designer ever to receive the ‘Designer of the Year’ award at the Art Basel in Miami last fall.Illusion and Reality in ArtAn eye-catching exhibition on the cunning genre of trompe l’oeil is currently taking place at the Buserius Forum in Hamburg. chevy dealership . euromaxx reports from the opening and talks to Thomas Demand who explains how he produces his works of illusion.Bread – Made in GermanyIn Germany there are over 300 different breads to chose from and many bakers take personal pride in using only the best ingredients. euromaxx spoke to celebrity chef Sarah Wiener and two master bakers to learn more about the dough business.The Democratization of LuxuryH&M launched its first luxury for the masses limited collection with haute-couture designer Karl Lagerfeld in 2004. Since then many other top designers have followed. euromaxx reports on the Swedish retail chains newest design cooperation with Sonia Rykiel. long boards . public storage . Whale Watching on the Azores euromaxx boards a dinghy departing from the harbor of Lajes to experience one of the Azores most thrilling experiences

euromaxx highlights

On this edition: – Looking Ahead A euromaxx reporter tests the hotel room of the future – Looking Smart Top designers turn champagne bottles into works of art – Looking Swish A Swiss company makes top of the range skis from granite – Star Tenor euromaxx caught up with star tenor Tony Henry during his recent visit to Berlin. – Book Trailers We take a look at the newest ways to promote books on the internet and in the cinema. How to make money . – Thomas Demand The Berlin artist specialises in three dimensional models of spaces or rooms made from coloured paper and cardboard. storage units . jewelry . Then he photographs them.

Serpentine Pavilion – Rem Koolhaas

www.channelbeta.net //////// Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2006, by Rem Koolhaas and Cecil Balmond, with Arup 13 July 15 October 2006 The Serpentine Pavilion 2006 was co-designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Rem Koolhaas and innovative structural designer Cecil Balmond. caterer . The centrepiece of the design was a spectacular ovoid-shaped inflatable canopy that floated above the Gallerys lawn. recycled drinking glasses . Made from translucent material, the canopy was raised into the air or lowered to cover the amphitheatre below according to the weather. A frieze designed by Thomas Demand marked the first collaboration between an artist and the designers of the Pavilion. The walled enclosure below the canopy functioned both as a caf and forum for televised and recorded public programmes including live talks and film screenings in the Time Out Park Nights at the Serpentine Gallery programme. The Pavilion also housed works by several artists participating in the Uncertain States of America exhibition. Rem Koolhaas said: The 2006 Serpentine Pavilion is defined by events and activities. We are proposing a space that facilitates the inclusion of individuals in communal dialogue and shared experience. flowers . Cecil Balmond said: These Pavilions have evolved with various structural typologies and materials, provoking a debate on architecture; this year the exploration continues not only with typology and material but with the very definition of Pavilion. Each Summer, the Serpentine commissions an internationally

Thomas Demand for the opening exhibition of Villa Paloma


The Nouveau Musée National de Monaco entrusts German artist Thomas Demand with a role of guest curator for the opening exhibition of Villa Paloma. send out cards . customer service portal . oklahoma foundation repair . The NMNM is now a whole, with two Villas, Villa Sauber and Villa Paloma.

“Monaco! Surrealism! Nature? There’s not much nature to be seen, even though the whole country of Monaco sits on a rough rock riddled by caves that were inhabited by homini grimaldi even before anyone painted animals on the walls in Lascaux. There are traffic islands, well-tended hydrocultures, and small parks, but there is nothing here that could cater to my inborn Teutonic yearning for the wild. However, there is a lifestyle that would have appealed to the Surrealists (and, in fact, did): fabulous botanical gardens, which provided the basis for the image for the show’s invitation card, and, next to the Villa Paloma, an almost vacant anthropological museum that gave us the showcase for Chris Garofalo’s porcelain models. So, I thought to myself, if there is any talk of nature here, it has to be of domesticated nature †that is, potted plants, gardens, theme parks and models of wild growth. Transformations, every kind of presentation, interpretation and, finally, symbolic representation.” It’s in these words that Thomas Demand introduces his text in the catalogue of the exhibition, explaining why he agreed to get involved in the adventure.

Thomas Demand

The concept of the exhibition refers to Magritte’s short-lived magazine, “La Carte d’après Nature”. From 1952 on, and for only fourteen issues, he encompasses poetry, illustrations, short stories and other contributions, and sends them out as postcards. In a similar way, the artist Thomas Demand has selected artworks for the exhibition, which are interconnected in a poetic, associative and elegant manner from artists who all have their lines of thinking about Nature and her representations.

luigi-ghirri Luigi Ghirri

Two ideas dictated the combination of the works by the selected artists: forms of a tamed nature and the abrupt dialect of Surrealism fashioned by Magritte, which subsequently became a source of inspiration. Just as Magritte himself always related works to virulent ideas of diverse origins, works of a wider generational span have been included in Demand’s selection which includes amongst others Kudjoe Affutu, Saâdane Afif, Becky Beasley, Martin Boyce, Tacita Dean, Thomas Demand, Chris Garofalo, Luigi Ghirri, Leon Gimpel, Rodney Graham, Henrik HÃ¥kansson, Anne Holtrop, August Kotzsch, René Magritte, Robert Mallet-Stevens, Jan and Joël Martel and Ger Van Elk.

This exhibition is organised with the support of the Ren̩ Magritte Foundation РBrussels.

It is accompanied by a catalogue in English and French published by MACK with a complete photographic documentation, essays by Thomas Demand, Christy Lange, Tacita Dean, Rodney Graham, Luigi Ghirri and René Magritte.

* La carte d’après nature, based on an original concept by René Magritte (1952)- © Charly Herscovici †Bruxelles

Practical information
Nouveau Musée National de Monaco †Villa Paloma
56 boulevard du Jardin Exotique
MC †98000 Principality of Monaco
+377 98 98 19 62