In the centre of the exhibition is a new body of work which Thomas Struth developed at the Leibniz Institute for Zoological and Wildlife Research (IZW) in Berlin. The institute researches evolutionary developments and the adaptions of wildlife to a humanly modified environment, in order to help design appropriate concepts and methods for conservation. The examination of deceased animals marks an important part of the institute's studies.
Struth photographed the animals on site, in the laboratory environment of IZW, reminding us of the fragility of life and our own transitory nature.
"I tried to depict the animals in a beautiful, dignified fashion. I’m interested in the idea of surrender: Once you die, all the circus that you proactively create, the theater, comes to a full stop. These pictures should be like punches, the memento of death as a wake-up call."
Laboratory spaces are a recurring motif from a previous series of Struth's oeuvre where he showed highly complex, abstract and inaccessible places of science, innovation and medical settings. The new works draw on these antecedents and unite topics of Struth's practice, such as mortality, progress, technology and illusion.
The exhibition further presents new works from Struth's series of places of industrial and scientific progress. Here, he approaches the complexity of technical developments and enables an insight into usually unaccessible areas. Meaning and function of the depicted often remain unclear but the highly evolved machines and seemingly futuristic devices from research, medicine and industry elicit a deep fascination for the possibilities of human inventions.
Bleibtreustraße 45; Kurfürstendamm 213, Berlin
27 April – 2 June 2018
Dimensions: 83 x 59,5 cm
Add to Cart
Out of Stock
Since the late 70's, Thomas Struth (b. 1954) has been capturing our time, reconciling forms of documentation and contemplation: the world today as seen in empty streets of different cities, cultural venues, worship scenes, but also nature, family portraits, and more recently industrial and technological locations, often underlining the relationship with the sublime. The examination of different situations and their impact on people's way of acting is typical of Thomas Struth's work. His recent images are becoming more abstract and introduce new subjects of reflection, such as the relationship between humans and machines."Thomas Struth is a reluctant modernist. On the one hand, his photographs seek to capture, in non-distinct street scenes and amongst groups of anonymous tourists, the beauty found in ephemeral and fugitive moments rather than poses honed by tradition. These photographs discover beauty in what had been, before the advent of modernity, considered off-limits to aesthetic contemplation: the allegedly soulless architecture of post-war Europe; the poor dwellings in the emerging world; the back areas and unacknowledged zones where museums, cathedrals and other spaces of spiritual and cultural gathering are purely functional sites of usage. But in many of his photographs, Struth does not simply discover but inscribes beauty in unexpected places.”Ulrich Baer, The Reluctant modernism of Thomas Struth in Thomas Struth, MADRE Museo d'Arte Contemporanea Donnaregina, 2008
Artist page on maxhetzler.com
Galerie Max Hetzler @ Kurfürstendamm 213, Berlin
Exhibition page on maxhetzler.com
Bleibtreustraße 45, Berlin