Thomas Demand

From 23 October 2002 to 26 January 2003


Curated by Marcella Beccaria

October 23, 2002 – January 26, 2003



A continuous shifting between reality and fiction is fundamental to the work of Thomas Demand, who was born in Munich in 1964. His works are photographs of life-size paper models, where personal memories, collective history and media images intersect.


The dense network of references creates ample spaces that the individual imagination can fill; at the same time, each work by the artist states the potential for fiction that hides behind the photographic image.”I have limited control over my images,” Demand has stated, alluding both to the natural physical dispersion to which the works of an artist are destined as they move off to various collections, and at the same time to the incessant proliferation of interpretations to which they are subject once they are introduced into the cultural context.



It is to this double register that Collection, 2002, refers (room 30). The photograph shows a series of gold records, framed and hung on the wall, in a manner that documents a pop star’s collection of hits. Conceived by Demand on the occasion of his encounter with Castello di Rivoli, Collection can be understood as a hub around which the selection of works shown in his solo exhibition revolve.


The artist became interested in the history of the Castello, and in particular in the presence, in the 17th century, of an art collection, specifically the picture gallery originally installed in the Manica Lunga. The typology of the image refers to the compositional scheme of a collection gathered according to logical principles, presenting a sequence of objects with similar characteristics.


A different type of collection is evoked in Kabine (Changing room), 2002, a representation of a space set aside to temporarily hold clothing left by athletes before a match (room 29). The hypothesis of this empty place, defined only by the repetitive order of the few elements that characterize it, contrasts with Stable, 2000, a close-up image of a chaotic pile of hay, obtained, as always in Demand’s work, from a skillful manipulation of simple paper.


77-E-217, 2000 reproduces the interior of an echo-free chamber designed for the simulation of sounds. But the image shows a real space, built, however, to hold a fiction (room 31). It is part of the exhibition Recorder, 2002, installed in the small chapel that overlooks the Chinese Room (room 27). The projected image, beyond the apparent immediacy of a working recorder, puts into play the various degrees of separation that can run between reality and the infinite modes of reproducing it.


Marcella Beccaria

From 23 October 2002 to 26 January 2003