Jonathan Griffin

Criticism and essays on art and culture

Tag: Thomas Demand

Grandfather: A Pioneer Like Us

Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

Szeeman-Install-57-1

Installation view of Grandfather: A Pioneer Like Us (1974) Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, February 4–April 22, 2018 Photo: Brian Forrest

In 1972, Carl Andre wrote a note to Harald Szeemann in response to the Swiss curator’s invitation to participate in documenta 5. ‘DO YOU HAVE AN ART SECTION?’ asked the irascible artist. As it turned out, the sarcastic enquiry was not entirely unfounded. Szeemann’s radical curatorial mission, developed in documenta 5 and pursued over the next three decades of his career, was to pollute the category of art history with artefacts from the entire field of visual culture, and to subordinate the static art object to a more fluid representation of a creative individual’s interior world. At documenta 5, there were areas featuring political propaganda, the art of the mentally ill, advertising, and science fiction. (A proposed pornography section was cancelled.) Read the rest of this entry »

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Thomas Demand

Demand Dailies

Early last December, Thomas Demand’s studio of 12 years, next to the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin, was bulldozed. Demand had known that sooner or later this day would come – the building’s prime location made it vulnerable to developers – but it marked the end of an era for the German artist. He had lived in the city since 1995, around the time that he first became known for his photographs of life-sized card and paper models of vacant interiors recreated from found photographs, often associated with poignant human narratives. Read the rest of this entry »