Thomas Demand (born 1964) is a German conceptual artist known for his photographs of life-size replications of places and objects, fictional or imaginary, constructed from paper and cardboard. The sets for his photographs and the sculptural objects depicted are destroyed as soon as the photographs are captured. Sometimes recreated from press-photographs, Demand’s work can often be politically or culturally specific, although one could never arrive at this conclusion from the work’s title. “Office”, 1995 depicts the Stasi headquarters in Berlin after it had been raided in 1990 allowing intruders access to sensitive civilian files. “Room”, 1996, depicts the hotel room in which L. Ron. Hubbard worked on “Dianetics”. “Junior Suite”, 2012, recreates the site of Whitney Houston’s final meal. Much of Demand’s work focuses on the way that models or plans inform our reality and his photographs exist simultaneously as real and artificial, calling into question the viewer’s ability to distinguish between fact and fiction. The sets are real, the labor that goes into building these constructions is real, and they often depict real places, but they are only pieces of paper, painstakingly assembled. The viewer is completely aware that Demand’s photographs are in fact fabrications. Extending this premise, the viewer is forced to think about all photographs and models that shape reality. Demand’s dependency upon paper, as the obvious symbol of fabrication often comments upon the significance of actual documents used to affect real events. His series from 2007 known as “The Embassy”, attempts to recreate the interior of the Niger Embassy in Rome, where documents stolen from a robbery in 2001 confirmed Saddam Hussein’s possession of “yellowcake” uranium, which justified the United States’ subsequent invasion of Iraq. These documents were discovered to be forgeries. Demand calls attention to the ways in which we allow paper to prescribe reality. “Poll” 2001, shows the interior of the Palm Beach County Emergency Operation Center in Florida where the controversial recount of the 2000 American presidential election ballots took place. Prescribed reality, from a post-war German point of view, is central point of reflection for Demand and his work silently alerts the viewer to its obviousness. Commissioned before the 2008 presidential elections by the New York Times, his series “Presidency” depicts the Oval Office as another constructed and empty interior, as a symbol, a set ready for a different reality, one that may or may not escape its companion title line “After the Imperial Presidency” (see Demand’s New York Times Magazine cover). Thomas Demand currently lives and works in Berlin. He is represented by Matthew Marks Gallery and Sprüth Magers. See also: Gerhard Richter, Ed Ruscha, Thomas Schütte, and Katharina Fritsch.