Josef Spiegel: Domestic Landscapes, New York Contemporary Art Report (english)
The Wondrous Landscape
New York Contemporary Art Report, December 2000 - January 2001
by Dr. Josef Spiegel
The photo series "Domestic Landscapes" was created in private homes. In the living rooms and bedrooms, the bathrooms and halls of various households, the German artist Thomas Wrede photographed wallpaper featuring photographs.
The result is not photographic documentation of German lifestyles, but instead, wondrous landscape photography. In the images of the rooms, parts of the furnishings combine with the wallpaper to create a unique mixture. Interior and what appears to be exterior space coalesce to form a whole image, although both parts are handled completely equally. It seems as if two or more layers of images were harmoniously laid over each other. Things we assume are not compatible are playfully integrated into the photos: a sofa mutates to a balcony balustrade in front of a lake, and a table lamp illuminates a massive, snow-covered mountain. Titles such as "Lake with Telephone Shelf," "Autumn Landscape with Christmas Candles," or "Desk on Beach with Palms," underscore the associations.
The artist gives richly associative and multilayered images. A second look opens up deeper levels, which capture the attention of the viewer and cause him to wonder, without actually ever betraying the reason for his wonder. The solution to the riddle lies in the complexity of the situation, which does not allow for simple answers. Reality and artificiality, interior and exterior, knowledge and presentiment are so completely interwoven that the whole equals more than the sum of its parts.