Large-format photographs characterised by a factual aesthetic, in which Thomas Demand (b. 1964) captures significant and frequently mysterious places ever-present in public memory, define the work of this German sculptor and photographer. Instead of visiting these places, however, the artist, who lives in Berlin, primarily selects press images as his models, rebuilding locations in paper and cardboard to create highly realistic models he destroys as soon as he has photographed them. This is also how the 2008 series “Presidency” was created, for which the artist selected the famous Oval Office in the White House at the time of the US presidential elections, leaving the chair behind the desk – the symbol of political power – unoccupied. Only the viewer’s memory can complement the history of the places Demand represents without figures or scenic elements.
From this series, the Montblanc Cultural Foundation purchased the work “Presidency I”, which was transferred in 2011 to the collection of the Gallery of Contemporary Art of the Hamburger Kunsthalle. In his works, Demand plays with illusion and reality and sharpens our eye for multiple levels of representation. For Montblanc, in 2009 Demand reproduced a worktable at which stencils of the Montblanc logo are carefully and precisely cut out by hand – a place that symbolises Montblanc’s quality standards and corporate philosophy.