Model Landscape. Photography
March 12 to June 5, 2017
The Sinclair House Museum is the first institution to exhibit a comprehensive overview of the artist Thomas Wrede, documenting the relationships and artistic developments of his photographic works ranging from the early 1990s to his current series.
The Museum Sinclair-Haus shows the first comprehensive overview of the artist’s work, documenting the connections and artistic developments in the works of Thomas Wrede by showing photographs from the early 1990s to current groups of works. Wrede’s point of departure is always the longing for nature, the question of its representation in the media, and its image.
In the early 1990s, photographs of a dying landscape were taken on the Danish island of Samsø, where the surface of the soil was defaced by agricultural sheets of plastic. Wrede shows both the ugly and the picturesque sides of this plastic-wrought landscape. In 1994 he captured the marks of birds colliding with window-panes in large-format black-and-white works – like ghosts caught between the present and the hereafter, between the moment and infinity, they seem suspended in space.
Finally, Wrede began to seek out the borderline between image and reality. In his work, the world becomes more and more like a model kit, a great staging on a small scale, between idyll and catastrophe. In his Real Landscapes, for example, toy cars and small model houses are placed on the beaches of North Sea islands and sand pits, so that a puddle becomes an ocean and a pile of dirt a mountain range. The photographic deceptions of his illusory worlds is caused mainly by the absence of proportions in the real landscapes. In further photographic series, Thomas Wrede shows human attempts to construct "realistic" landscapes in theme parks, and to lend everyday living spaces breadth by putting up wallpaper depicting nature. His Seascapes, finally, photographs of summer beach scenes, appear irritatingly staged and more unreal than the Real Landscapes. It is exactly this confusing interplay of "appearance" and "reality" which Thomas Wrede uses in his works to successively point out that our image of reality – always our own individual image – ultimately depends on the perspective of the moment.
Thomas Wrede (b. 1963) studied at the Academy of Arts in Münster (graduating with a master diploma in 1991) and with Dieter Appelt in Berlin. Since 2015 he has been professor of photography and media at the Academy of Fine Arts in Essen.