Artwork Details

  • Artist Thomas Demand
  • Title Hole
  • Date 2013
  • Medium Colour photograph
  • Dimensions 180 x 171.4 cm
  • Credit Commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation
Hole Image


Images migrate, often without much luggage. Take this hole in the ground: if the image were in a Texan newspaper, the hole would tunnel through to another, lawless place. What is its promise here? In the same week, a similar icon appeared on the cover of a German Donald Duck magazine and in a newspaper photo of a spectacular bank break-in via an excavated tunnel. Both are distant relatives of a trope found throughout European art history, most often associated with a tale central to the Old Testament and the Qur’an in which Joseph/Yusuf was thrown into a cistern and sold by his brothers to slave dealers, who took him from Palestine to Egypt. This story was a popular topic in paintings and tapestries of the late seventeenth to early nineteenth centuries, but now subterranean border crossings are found worldwide. Here, descending from a harlequin pattern, the cavity in the floor will lead to another kingdom, if not a promised landscape.



Demand, Thomas

Thomas Demand makes mural-scale photographs, but instead of finding his subject matter in real life, he uses paper and cardboard to reconstruct scenes from images reproduced in various media sources, and then photographs them.