Idealised Construction

German artist Thomas Wrede (b. 1963) studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Münster from 1986 to 1992 and is now a professor of photography and new media at the University of Fine Arts Essen. Influenced by how nature is presented within today’s media, Real Landscapes (2004-2016) reproduces various topographies, traversing the lines between simulation and reality and manufacturing the colossal through the miniature. Wrede uses commonplace objects for the staging of the images: toy cars, classic houses and pine trees taken from a model train kit are placed on North Sea beaches, in coal dumps, on garbage heaps and piles of rubble. As a consequence, the compositions simultaneously depict a sense of the monumental and the idyllic, reduced to an existence dependent upon the lens of the camera. The sheer expanse of the environment is thrown into large-scale perspective through sparsely spread signs of civilisation.