Thomas Demand works in the eastern part of Berlin, in a blue-collar neighborhood closer to Mitte’s industrial waterfront than to its galleries and fashionable cafés. His studio is located in one of those light-manufacturing buildings typically found in the innermost reaches of Berlin courtyards. When I went to visit the studio, nearly the entire loft space was filled with giant cardboard models for his recent series “Poll,” 2001. The setup was extremely disconcerting: I couldn’t tell whether the chair or table in front of me would support even the weight of the bag I was carrying, or whether it was one of Demand’s cardboard constructions and might simply buckle under and collapse. I had always imagined his models to be far smaller, and my amazement at the amount of effort he must put into their production now redoubled.
Born in Munich in 1964, Demand has, for nearly a decade, taken as his
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