For the celebrated artist and sculptor Thomas Demand, models are ways of understanding the environment without the distraction of constant stimulation. “One might think of models as places for housing puppets, minuscule railway tracks in the basement, or representing the schemes and dreams of aspiring architects. But your retirement plan is also based on a model,” he says. Demand’s work is a combination of photography and cardboard models of rooms with historical significance.
The artist gives a lecture describing the limitations, but also the strange pre-eminence, of models as artefacts. Demand, who has presented mid-career retrospectives at both MOMA and the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, argues that whilst models describe a fragment of our surroundings, it is difficult to prove them wrong.
Thomas Demand was a CCA Mellon Senior Fellow in 2013.