Thomas Demand meticulously recreates realistic settings using paper, cardboard, and other inexpensive materials. Demand often culls his source material from preexisting images found in the media, such as the interior of the Fukushima Daichi power plant after the 2011 tsunami, or the United States Oval Office. Upon completion, Demand records his ephemeral creations through photography in large-scale works, and then destroys the original model. His photographs occupy the liminal space between the real and the artificial, pushing the viewer to question the rigidity of these categories and the verisimilitude of photography.
For the High Line, Demand has created a site-specific work in response to the unique environment of the elevated park. Demand’s image of colored clothespins clipped to two white clotheslines depicts a domestic scene that can also be read as a celestial landscape. The two clotheslines evoke the condensation trails created by aircrafts that are visible in the sky above Manhattan. This quiet meditation on the sky contrasts the busy surroundings on the streets below.
Photos by Timothy Schenck.