Thomas Demandís Art About Art
Serpentine Gallery, London 11 June 2006
We have come to expect grand installations transforming The Serpentine Gallery interior into something, other than the perfect gallery space that we love to visit on a summers day.
Some of these installations are of an architectural scale featuring masonry, windows and doors, rooms within rooms within galleries. You might call this environmental sculpture; the pervasive subject would appear to be the modern world which we inhabit.
These transformations never fail to generate a kind of excited anticipation whenever we approach The Serpentine Gallery to see a new show. On this occasion the gallery has achieved a new perspective by simply clearing out all of the above clutter, and by the simple expedient application of a flock wallpaper; (think William Morris, then try to not to think William Morris.)
Thomas Demand has also contrived, an interpretation of modern life, by artificially constructing it out of cardboard and glue, clarifying and simplifying the real world and then photographing it extravagantly and elegantly, successfully confounding and challenging perceptions.
These are photographs of the recognisable modern world, banal office spaces, ephemera, inanimate objects, the kitchen sink, and other worlds, real but unreal, and knowingly contrived, right down to the flock wallpaper on the gallery wall.
This show has managed to find a new perspective of our everyday day environment and challenges us to admire or dismiss, or discuss And if that were not enough he has also challenged our perception of how we look at what we are. We are invited to look at our banal environment, and we are invited to look at the way we look at our banal environment.
Yes, one more way of art looking at art, looking at art.