Publisher: London: MACK, 2012
Edition: 1st Edition
Condition: New / No dust jacket as issued
Item #: 112690
First edition, first printing. Hardcover. Faux leather-covered boards with magnetic closure, with graphic and title stamped in gray on cover and spine; no dust jacket as issued. Photographs by Thomas Demand. Contributions by Miuccia Prada and Louis Begley. 64 pp. (accordion fold), with 16 four-color plates. 14-3/4 x 14 inches.
New in publisher's shrink wrap.
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: "'Existing in a state of continual motion, from the hotel room to the road, the life of the travelling salesman, the commercial traveller, is experienced as a perpetual passenger, punctuated by both the shifting of place and the marking of time.'
In the mid 1970s, architect Harry Seidler designed a space for the historic Commercial Travellers' Association in Sydney, Australia. In collaboration with Pier Luigi Nervi, he created a circular building that sprouts up from the street like a radiating flower.
For the 25th Kaldor Public Art Project, Thomas Demand's series The Dailies occupies an entire floor of Seidler's structure. The floor of sixteen bedrooms, which house The Dailies, extend off a circular corridor creating a labyrinthine effect. Demand's images sit above the beds in each room, the transient scenes capturing everyday moments and objects, suspended in time like the environment around them.
Working within the parameters of his now well-known technique, Demand created carefully formed paper and card sculptures, photographed and then destroyed them. His creations are based on things he saw and photographs he took while travelling and walking the street. Demand describes the series as like Haiku poetry, simple fragments strung together to inspire reflection.
The Dailies includes contributions by designer Miuccia Prada and US author Louis Begley.
The book, a work of art in itself, expands to a 16-pointed star, its concertina pages unfurling to echo the shape of the CTA building."