Artist biography

German photographer and film maker. He studied at the Akademie der bildenden Künste, Munich (1987–9), the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (1989–92), Cité des Arts, Paris (1992), Goldsmiths College, London (1993–4), and the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam (1995). Demand's large photographs of generic interior and exterior views are of imaginary places that he constructs himself from paper and cardboard. Works such as Diving Platform (C-print, 1.18×1.5 m, 1994; New York, Max Protetch Gal.) show scenes that at first appear plausible, but on scrutiny reveal their carefully contrived nature. In the mid 1990s Demand produced photographs whose banal appearance belied dark or sordid historical referents. Flur (Corridor) (colour print on perspex, 1.84×2.7 m, London, Victoria Miro Gal., see 1999 exh. cat., p. 79) shows a characterless space, actually based on a photograph of the corridor that led to the apartment of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. Demand's first film, Tunnel (16mm colour film, London, Victoria Miro Gal.), presents successive journeys through a generic road underpass. The scenario is given no specificity or narrative, the film concentrating instead on capturing the formal aspects of the model underpass with a special effects camera. The status of film and photography as objective documentation is questioned by fabricating the subject, highlighting the way photographic mediation affects the values we give to our experience of the world. Demand lives and works in Berlin.

Eurovision (exh. cat., essay P. Ellis, London, Saatchi Gal., 1999)
Grosse Illusionen: Demand, Gursky, Ruscha (exh. cat., Bonn, Städt Kstmus., 1999)

10 December 2000

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