Thomas Demand's Embassy 1, 2007

Thomas Demand
Embassy 1, 2007

Photograph

C-print on Diasec

80 x 66 in

303 Gallery

Yellowcake

This work is part of a series titled Yellowcake which refers to the technical term denoting a concentrated form of uranium which, when enriched, may be used to make nuclear weapons.

At the time of Thomas' exhibit at 303 Gallery in 2007, this word was on the public’s mind as the fulcrum that President George W. Bush used in his 2003 State of the Union Address when he stated: “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of Uranium in Africa”.

The evidence for this accusation was a paper trail purportedly stolen from the Embassy of the Republic of Niger, in Rome, and then given to both the British MI6 and American CIA by SISMI – the Italian intelligence counterpart. The documents were an apparent contract of sale for hundreds of tons of ‘yellowcake’ by Niger to the Iraqi authorities. As the events making up this story unraveled, it became clear that the ‘evidence’ and information passed along by SISMI were obvious forgeries.

Thomas' Yellowcake series consists of a series of 9 photographs about the location where this story, and its ‘smoking gun’ originated. Adding further intrigue to this saga is the consideration that there has never been any photographic documentation that could illustrate these events and news as they came to light -- no one had gained access to Niger’s Embassy in Rome.

For Yellowcake, Thomas – who has traditionally based his practice on existent imagery – had to access the source site on his own. Thomas entered the apartment- cum-embassy and conversed with the embassy staff, and through these visits and interactions built his own memory of the place. Based on these recollections, Demand reconstructed the embassy site in his studio in order to create the images that make up Yellowcake.

Yellowcake

This work is part of a series titled Yellowcake which refers to the technical term denoting a concentrated form of uranium which, when enriched, may be used to make nuclear weapons.

At… more

© Respective owners, assignees etc.