Thomas Demand. Mirror Without Memory

photo by alexey naroditsky
courtesy of garage museum of contemporary art

“Garage Museum of Contemporary Art presents the first Russian exhibition of Thomas Demand, one of the most important photographers of recent decades. Borrowing images of events from the press and other sources, Demand reproduces these scenes in life size from cardboard and paper – basically making sculptures – after which he photographs them and subsequently destroys the models.” (1)

Grace’s design for the exhibition makes visible what has been destroyed: the paper. The walls that support the works appear as more or less ordered three-meter-tall stacks of white paper, unveiling not only the actual materiality of the objects on Demand’s photographs, but also the unexpected density and heaviness of the material.

(1) text by Katya Inozemtseva

The beauty of desolation, emerging from Demand’s images, is echoed in the solemnity and odd monumentality of the exhibition architecture.

The thick paper walls form an imaginary “archeological site”, distributed across Garage’s Central and West Galleries. The “site”, clearly distinct from the logic of the modernist building, is bulky and slightly tilted, occasionally conflicting with museums walls. Low stacks, conceived as benches, protrude from the full height walls and offer visitors moments of rest and reflection.