The title HOUSE OF CARD refers to the precariousness of Thomas Demand’s practice as a builder. Although architecture generally equates with permanence, Demand explores ephemerality through his use of paper and cardboard. Working with these materials, he is known for producing full-scale models in his studio that recreate notorious, newsworthy or familiar scenes he often sources from media images. Demand then records these recreations on camera through photography or film, while the models themselves are subsequently destroyed. Demand’s final images exhibit no traces of time or the building process; in this way they deliberately create distance in relation to the found images they are supposed to depict.
HOUSE OF CARD at MOCA features a selection of these ‘recreations,’ as well as placing emphasis on Demand’s exploration into architecture, model making and collaborative processes. Throughout the exhibition, we are invited to explore how architecture plays a role in Demand’s practice and how models can act as both a proposition and a memory. At the same time, HOUSE OF CARD highlights the similarities between Demand’s projects and those by other influential artists, architects and designers, namely Martin Boyce, Caruso St John and Rirkrit Tiravanija, as well as the models of practitioners that Demand has photographed as part of an ongoing enquiry titled “Model Studies.”
This site-specific iteration of HOUSE OF CARD, includes a new selection of works, and is based on an exhibition first produced and presented by the Museum Leuven in Belgium in 2020, curated by Valerie Verhack.