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Tunnel (1999) - Thomas Demand


The film presumably shows a fast-paced tracking shot through the tunnel in which Lady Diana Spencer, Princess of Wales, died in a car crash. At first the viewer seems to remember seeing these images in the media. But in reality the set is a true to life, cardboard mock-up of architectural details. Under closer inspection, one also realizes that instead of reproducing reality Thomas Demand creates a perfectly-constructed model world. The cleverly-lit cardboard scenery takes up an incident of recent history and, in doing so, mirrors the illusionary features of what appear to be familiar images. The film literally reflects upon the model of our relationship to images from the mass media. In the process, the construction, representation and repetition of reality create a complex weaving of connections. That the accident used as the theme was the result of a hectic, car chase caused by paparazzi lends the work yet another aspect of the reflection of the media.

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