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Thomas Demand: Phototrophy, Limited Edition (with Archival Pigment Print)

Publisher: München: Schirmer/Mosel Verlag, 2004
Edition: 1st Edition
Binding: Hardcover
ISBN: 3829601719
Condition: New / New
Item #: 105937



First edition, first printing. Limited slipcased edition of 100 hand-numbered copies, this being #8/100 (plate pasted-on front free endpaper notes edition number), with a 12-1/8 x 14-3/8 inch original archival pigment print, "Detail XII, 2005," image size 8 1/2 x 10 1/8 inches (numbered and signed in pencil on verso by Demand, print edition 100, printed in 2005 for this edition) laid in a separate cloth portfolio for presentation (protected between sheets of archival paper). The image is perfectly suited to the matte paper-textured surface of the print. Both the book and photograph (in cloth portfolio) fit inside the larger cloth slipcase.

Hardcover. Photographically illustrated laminated paper-covered boards, with photographically illustrated dust jacket. Photographs by Thomas Demand. Edited by Eckhard Scheinder. Texts by Ralph Rugoff and Julia Franck. Includes a biography. 128 pp., with 66 four-color plates, beautifully printed by EBS, Verona, Italy. 12-1/2 x 14-7/8 inches. Out of print (sold out upon release). Very scarce.

Published on the occasion of the 2004 exhibition Thomas Demand: Phototrophy at the Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria.


New in publisher's original packaging (book, print and slipcase all in flawless, pristine condition).


Thomas Demand is one of the most important and relevant contemporary artists working today. Demand's starting point is usually an image culled from the mass media, off the Internet, or a low-resolution image discovered in a newspaper or other source during his research. Oftentimes, the picture has become iconic or representative in some way of an important historical, political or cultural event. He then painstakingly creates by hand, over the course of weeks or even months, a full-size (1:1) sculptural model from colored paper and cardboard. The paper model, in which he deliberately excludes certain specific details, and emphasizes various elements and graphic forms important to the original source image, is then photographed by Demand. This photograph is the final work of art and the paper-model is then destroyed and recycled ("Grotte / Grotto, 2006" is the only existing original paper sculpture).

Demand's large-scale photographs deal with our relationship to media in general, and photography in particular. The confluence of memory, individual interpretations and readings, collective meanings associated with significant events, are all examined. His process -- from source material and research, to the meticulous sculptural interpretation, to the final photographic work -- adds to his multi-layered examination of visual representation, as well as the problematic "indexical" nature of photography.

If one strips away specificity, if the details that allow us to "read" a photograph are reduced to generic bits of unremarkable paper, is the result a denial of what photography intends? If the photograph exists to let us know who we are in space, allows us to decode the details, the light, the "specifics," then Demand turns our perceptions into chaos. In his work, Demand uses sites of historical significance -- visual sites -- and recreates them in painstaking full-size scale models using cardboard and paper. The authenticity of the historical event is suggested, through titles, yet the images are stark and lifeless as enormous vacuums of energy and perception. They are intentionally blank and soul-less, so as to capture the inadequacy of photography's ability to really "capture" historical events.

From the publisher: "Thomas Demand is one of the most celebrated contemporary photo artists. At first sight, Demand's pictures, say of a kitchen, a copy shop, or a car park, seem like depictions of everyday places. Yet on closer inspection they turn out to be reconstructions of reality: Demand creates life-size environments made of paper and cardboard and accurate down to the smallest details, photographs these "re-creations" and then destroys them. The pictures that arise in this way put their finger squarely on the drab aesthetics of the modern office world and architecture. Demand's sculptural and somehow filmic simulations, completely devoid of people, lead us into a world of models, in which a "faked" reality blends with the memory of a real reality to generate vividly cool images and to investigate the concept of virtual reality that plays such a key role in our technological multimedia age. This major monograph presents 66 key works from 1993 to the present."