Archivmaterial / New Stop Motion
November 24, 2018–January 19, 2019
In the past several years, Thomas Demand has periodically turned his camera away from the models he constructs himself, as content for his well-known photographs, to focus on models he has encountered in the archives and studios of renowned architects. First instigated by the artist’s visits to the John Lautner archives at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, Demand’s Model Studies continued with the paper constructions he photographed at the Tokyo studio of Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa (SANAA). Sprüth Magers is pleased to present ARCHIVMATERIAL, the third iteration of Demand’s contemplative series, which concentrates on models by the Viennese artist-architect Hans Hollein. Also on view NEW STOP MOTION, two of the artist’s mesmerizing stop motion animations completed in 2016 and 2018.
A radical thinker and an instigator in the history of postmodern architecture, Hans Hollein (1934–2014) sought to expand the concept of architecture to encompass all forms of environments, from space suits to advertisement spreads to telecommunications systems. As he declared in Bau magazine in 1968: 'Architects must cease to think only in terms of buildings… Everyone is an architect. Everything is architecture.' The title of Demand’s exhibition, ARCHIVMATERIAL, is a playful nod to the theoretical seriousness of conceptual manifestos of the 1960s and 1970s, of which Hollein penned his fair share. Presented with the opportunity to explore Hollein’s extensive archives, packed into numerous apartments across Vienna, Demand delved into the architect’s materials. Of Demand’s approach to Hollein’s models, in contrast to those of Lautner and SANAA, architect Liz Diller has noted: 'you had to figure out what they were, you decoded them, you figured out which ones represented Hollein. It was much more . . . archaeological' (AnOther Magazine, Autumn/Winter 2018).