Thomas Demand: Daily Show (5 stars)

Mesmerising exhibition that deliberately confuses the boundary between reality and fiction

Thomas Demand: Daily Show

Photo: Ruth Clark

On the face of it, Thomas Demand’s practice might seem rigid, uncompromising even: the artist photographs maquette-like recreations of everyday scenes that appear uncannily realistic and sterilely hollow. But as his current exhibition Daily Show proves, spending time with his work is immensely rewarding.

Demand has found ways to build upon his art-making formula without jeopardising the directness of his style. For his show at The Common Guild, he has produced ingenious wallpaper that tests the parameters of his practice reductio-ad-absurdum. At first glance the wallpaper appears quite commonplace, but after a short time the lines seem a little too crisp, the shadows a touch too dense. Demand has subjected the making of the gallery wallpaper to the same convoluted rules he uses to make his photographs that hang in the space.

The wallpaper is both real and false –shadows and lines are printed onto the paper, but a second real layer of shadows cast by the gallery’s architecture complicate the illusion making it almost impossible to tell where reality and fiction begin and end. The effect is quite overwhelming: not only is the authenticity of photography called into question, but the physical world that surrounds us too.

Common Guild, Glasgow. Until Sun 13 Dec

Thomas Demand: Daily Show

New work from the German artist consisting of pictures taken on his mobile phone but printed using the labour-intensive dye transfer process, which offers exceptional colour quality.


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