Thomas Demand “Model Studies (Kōtō-ku)”
[Image: "Temple 54", 2015, pigment print, 122.5 x 156.1 cm © Thomas Demand, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn / JASPAR, Tokyo]
This event has ended.
At the end of May, 2015, Taka Ishii Gallery Tokyo will open at its new location in Kitasando, Tokyo. As an inaugural exhibition in coordination with the opening of the new space, the gallery is pleased to announce a solo exhibition with Thomas Demand from May 22 to June 27. The exhibition marks Demand’s third solo presentation at Taka Ishii Gallery since his previous gallery showing eight years ago, and will feature “Model Studies,” a series of 8 new photographic works based upon the architectural models of Japanese architecture unit SANAA.
The series, “Model Studies” presented in 2011, was produced in response to Demand’s encounter with architectural models constructed by American architect John Lautner (1911-1994) that had been archived in the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles. Demand’s first ever work to photograph models made by an individual other than himself, the focal point of the artist’s contemplation is placed upon the “model,” an element of equal significance to Demand as the image.
Since 2013, Demand has visited SANAA’s office located in Kōtō-ku, Tokyo, on several occasions, photographing a vast multitude of architectural models that give form to the variety of ideas conceived there. On the contrary to Lautner’s models that could be referred to as remnant traces of a now deceased architect, SANAA’s models are scattered throughout the office as living seeds for ideas that one day may or may not sprout into a large and flourishing tree. Furthermore, these models function as agents for communication within an architectural office whose practices are supported by the works of a diverse nationality of staff.
From the method of production to the materials used, in addition to the abstracted details and the tentative nature of their condition, many similarities can indeed be witnessed between Demand’s models and the models of architects. However, their distinction lies in the very fact that Demand’s models are ultimately restored to images whereas architectural models are transformed into constructions of scales several hundred times larger than the model itself. Through his act of photographing architectural models as sculptural manifestations of ideas, Demand shines light upon the fleeting virtues of ideas that occupy a repetitive process of conception and discard. “Model Studies” is the artist’s exploration of the rich plethora of possibilities that are embedded within the concept of the model.
Demand is renown for his large-scale photographic and film works that seemingly present themselves as anonymous testimonies of various scenes and incidents. Often based upon citations of major media sources including photographic documentation and film footage of historical and political events, Demand reconstructs the scenes in question as life-size models through the appropriation of coloured paper and cardboard, and ultimately re-presents them in mediated form within the context of still and moving images. Images that were once intended as a mere means to communicate reality, in itself behave as embodiments of the real world through the instant manner in which they are disseminated and distributed throughout the globe via media coverage and the internet. The works of Demand inspects the power and functionality of the image and eloquently suggests our contemporary condition –one that is inevitably dominated by renditions of reality captured through the image.
from May 22, 2015 to June 27, 2015
Opening Reception on 2015-05-22