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Thomas Demand, Barn (1997)


Walker Art Center



Institution Walker Art Center
Thomas Demand's photographs straddle the line between photography and sculpture, instilling their subjects with a sense of unease. Working from our culture's immense archive of images, he painstakingly reconstructs found photographs into full-sized sculptural tableaux fashioned from cardboard and paper. Drawn from the recesses of our collective memory, these images replicate culturally significant if visually ordinary spaces such as the corridor outside the apartment of mass murderer Jeffrey Dahmer, or the room where L. Ron Hubbard wrote Dianetics, the author's founding manifesto of Scientology. With Barn, Demand has photographed a model he made of Abstract Expressionist painter Jackson Pollock's famous studio.

Carefully lighting and then photographing these elaborate stage sets, Demand produces immaculate images of architectural facades and room interiors that are banal and devoid of life, evoking a sense of mystery in their haunting and artificial doubling of the real world.

This work adds to the museum's growing collection of conceptual photography by German artists, including Thomas Struth, Andreas Gursky, and Bernd and Hilla Becher. Prior to its acquisition, this photograph was first shown in the 1997 Walker exhibition Stills: Emerging Photography in the 1990s.

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Source: Label text for Thomas Demand, Barn (1997), from the exhibition State of the Art: Recent Gifts and Acquisitions, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, July 22-October 8, 2000.
Rights: Copyright 2000 Walker Art Center
Added to Site: March 1, 2009