The Easel

Archives: Sean O’Hagan

4th May 2021

The cardboard cannabis lab: Thomas Demand’s beautifully deceptive realities

Demand’s work sneaks up on you. His large scale photographs, seemingly of “real life”, actually show meticulously constructed models of the real thing. Why models? Because they are so pervasive – “computer-generated images, video games … the weather forecast, pension plans. [Models are] a completely overlooked cultural technique.” So, what is reality, disorderly real life or the tidy models we use to make decisions?