22 Sep 2001

Events Thomas Demand


The German artist Thomas Demand will be presenting in Florence six photographic works instating a dialogue with that extraordinary context that is Palazzo Pitti, three works have been made especially for this context. More precisely, the project will occupy three halls on the second floor: the Sala Rosa, the Sala del Fiorino, and the Sala della Musica. On this occasion, the artist worked with the English architects Adam Caruso e Peter St John (with whom he also collaborated for his personal exhibition at the Cartier Foundation in Paris last year).

Together, they have devised a project in which the existing structures, the new structures, and the works become a novel and highly successful challenge to the continual antagonism between memory and contemporaneity. The simple yet grandiose elements designed by Caruso and St John (outsized benches of a sort) fit into and converse fluently with the ancient halls: not only do they become supports and extensions of the works, but they also envelop the visitor, forcing him to assume a different viewpoint.

When speaking of this project Demand explains that he is using the contrast of the historic to the present similarily to Stanley Kubrick’s epoch-making movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. It is this vision that breathed life into one of the new and most significant work in the exhibition Rechner: an IBM supercomputer that will be launched only in 2004. The other photos on display are: Constellation, which shows a nocturnal image of the sky over Florence on the evening of the opening, staged in the Sala Rosa, further Gangway,a contemporary counterpart to the painted decorations on walls and ceiling in Sala della Musica as well as Poll, Scheune/Barn and , Hecke/Hedge.

A precious catalogue, designed by the Frankfurt graphics group Surface, will document the exhibition with a series of photographs snapped as though by the eye of the spectator as he passes through and contemplates the three splendid halls.