Thomas Wrede (born 1963) is a German photographer.
Wrede was born in Iserlohn-Letmathe. He studied art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Münster from 1985–1991, Germany, where he was also teaching years later. In 1991 he was the student of Dieter Appelt in Salzburg and Berlin.
Münster is an independent city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is in the northern part of the state and is considered to be the cultural centre of the Westphalia region. It is also capital of the local government region Münsterland. Münster was the location of the Anabaptist rebellion during the Protestant Reformation and the site of the signing of the Treaty of Westphalia ending the Thirty Years' War in 1648. Today it is known as the bicycle capital of Germany.
He has been included in many exhibitions such as “Strange Paradise” at Städtische Galerie Iserlohn, 2005, “Seascapes. Am Meer” at Goethe-Institut London and in Helsinki, 2006. „Tamed Nature“at Brandenburgische Kunstsammlungen, 2005, in Germany. „Really True! The Assurance of Reality in Photography“ at Ruhrlandmuseum Essen, 2004, in Germany and „the Paradise of the Modern“ at Bauhaus Dessau in Germany. Exhibitions in 2007: ”Real Landscapes” at Galerie Herrmann & Wagner, Berlin (27.04-16.06.2007) and the exhibition ”Von Oben und von Unten”, Akademie Franz Hitze Haus, Münster (15.01.2007-14.03-2007). He is presented by WAGNER + PARTNER in Berlin, by f5,6 in Munich and by Beck & Eggeling in Düsseldorf.
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A number of catalogues have been published about Wrede: “Strange Paradise”, 2005, “Magic Worlds”, 2000, “Birds Hang in the Air and Crey”, 1996, “Samsoe”, 1994 and “Places and Constellations” from 1993.
It is our relation to nature that interests Wrede: Our longing for nature and the medialized description thereof. With his camera he observes how artificial nature is received in the same way as real nature. This subject matter is well known in German philosophy. Philosophers such as Immanuel Kant and Friedrich Hegel studied the dialectic relation to nature. Wrede thereby continues this German tradition as a photographer, questioning our perception of nature.
Immanuel Kant was an influential German philosopher. In his doctrine of transcendental idealism, he argued that space, time and causation are mere sensibilities; "things-in-themselves" exist, but their nature is unknowable. In his view, the mind shapes and structures experience, with all human experience sharing certain structural features. He drew a parallel to the Copernican revolution in his proposition that worldly objects can be intuited a priori ('beforehand'), and that intuition is therefore independent from objective reality. Kant believed that reason is the source of morality, and that aesthetics arise from a faculty of disinterested judgment. Kant's views continue to have a major influence on contemporary philosophy, especially the fields of epistemology, ethics, political theory, and post-modern aesthetics.
Thomas Wrede’s last series “Real landscapes” are manipulations of landscapes. By adding artificial details into real nature he creates a staged scene that looks authentic at first. For the observer it becomes difficult to see what is actually real and what is unreal. The resemblance to model construction kits is striking. In effect he creates dreamlike scenes of nature or perhaps even nightmares.
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