This show of new Cibachromes by Thomas Demand, some as large as 6 by 11 feet, is yet another example of the brilliant photographic works being shown by young German artists in recent years. Last season's gallery-goers were treated to a hefty and healthy dose of Andreas Gursky's photos at Matthew Marks, and this year 303 starts off its season with these dazzling images of what appear to be nature scenes and interiors.
Like many of his compatriots, Demand uses a documentary approach to photographing a territory that is situated somewhere between the real and the artificial. He photographs hand-made models of rooms and exteriors. Some of the labor-intensive tableaux he has created for this show include a Lawn filled with countless paper blades of grass; Hedge, a fake bush with paper leaves; a giant Peg Board, that puns on Minimalist painting; and a TV Studio, based on the set of a well-known German TV show.
Also blurring a sense of reality is Tunnel, a laptop computer piece, which shows a film loop shot from a car hood going through the Paris underpass where Princess Diana was killed. The work closely resembles Tunga's film loop Night and Day, which was recently shown at Bard college. However, unlike Tunga, Demand seems intent on exploding myth rather than creating it.
Thomas Demand, Sept. 9-Oct. 14, 1998, at 303 Gallery, 525 West 22nd Street, New York, N.Y. 10011.