Thomas Demand

Dates: Nov 10 – Dec 8, 2007 

Taka Ishii Gallery is pleased to announce our second exhibition with Berlin-based artist, Thomas Demand. A selection of Demand’s recent solo exhibitions (2007) includes the Fondazione Prada, Venice and the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, as well as the Serpentine Gallery, London (2006) and the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2005). Demand’s work has been featured in group exhibitions within Japan at the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto / the National Museum of Art Osaka (2006) as well as the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (2005).

Demand, trained as a sculptor, creates editioned film and photographic works in which sculptures, constructed from paper and cardboard, are presented in mediated form. With one recent exception, Demand does not exhibit the sculptural constructions themselves; but, rather, always re-presents the work as image. This process is analogous to Demand’s initial choice of source material – a great deal of the image material on which the artist bases his work is culled from the media; empty spaces in which current or past events of cultural/political import are presented in an anonymous, simplified form. While Demand does not hide the background behind each image, he is not forthcoming as works are typically provided with relatively anonymous, literally descriptive titles such as “Shed” and “Lightbox”.

The Taka Ishii Gallery exhibition will include the presentation of two recent 35mm films, Yellowcake and Camera, as well as recent photographic works. “Yellowcake” is a direct reference to an intermediate step in the processing of uranium ores, and an indirect reference to an event in which material was obtained from the Embassy of the Republic of Niger in Rome, subsequently used by the United States and Great Brittain in an attempt to provide proof of the government of Iraq’s attempts to secure material for the creation of so-called weapons of mass destruction. While past Demand work was based upon photogrpahic source material, in this instance no photographic documentation existed and Demand had to rely upon his memory following a visit to the embassy in preparation for the constuction of the sculpture. In Yellowcake the film, an interior within the embassy is pictured; the lights within the space are once turned on and then, a few minutes later, turned off; this is all that occurs -visibly- within the space of nearly 6 minutes. The exhibition will also include a photographic detail of the embassy interior as well as an equally enigmatic image, Shed from 2006.