Munich; Thomas Struth at Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle

by Venetia Kapernekas

12.11.2015 – 30.01.2016

Last week, a quite impressive exhibition opened by Thomas Struth at Rüdiger Schöttle gallery, with new cycle of work.

The work “Research Vehicle, Armstrong Flight Research Center, Edwards, 2014” shows a simulator that the Apollo astronauts used from 1964 onwards to practice the moon landing.

On his trip  to South Korea in 2007, Thomas Struth photographed tankers under repair in one of the world’s largest shipyards and a semi-submersible drilling rig.  Since this trip, industrial innovation and scientific achievements have been the center of the artist’s attention.

Struth - Research Vehicle_72dpi
Thomas Struth
Research Vehicle, Armstrong Flight Research Center, Edwards 2014
Inkjet print, 145,8 x 196,7 cm
© Thomas Struth, courtesy Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle

Struth said: It is clear that the contemporary human imagination is more easily fired by the pyrotechnics of science and technology rather than by the difficult, and perhaps now historically discredited, negotiation of political ideals. I wanted to open the doors to some of these unseen places in order to scrutinize what our contemporary world–what we–create, depicting plasmaphysics and chemistry, ship- and oil rig-building, space shuttle repair, architecture, etc., as what our minds have materialized and transformed into sculpture.”

While you walk the 2 floors of the gallery,  visitors view the inner workings of these facilities, their machines and contraptions, and the frequently inaccessible spaces of scientific research, as the artist places his focus on medical institutions and test laboratories with their instruments and equipment.(gallery press) 

The large format images are mesmerizing. They convey the fascination we have for instruments that embody scientific and material innovation but distract us from the calls for social and political progress.

71 Kopie

Installation view of the exhibition by Thomas Struth at Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle, Munich, photo: Wilfried Petzi
Struth_11431_Z-Pinch Plasma Lab_72dpi
Thomas Struth
Z-Pinch Plasma Lab, Weizmann Institute, Rehovot 2011
Inkjet print, 131,8 x 158 cm
© Thomas Struth, courtesy Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle

Without any human presence as witness and indication of space and time, a categorization of the content in terms of past, present and future is not instantly possible. (gallery press)

“….My interest, or hope, or intent is to address something which has a larger scale, a larger value, than the specific details or locations shown. The photographs must ultimately be driven by interests on a more general level.” (Thomas Struth, retrieved from This Place) 

Quotes taken from Thomas Struth in conversation with Charlotte Cotton, 2014. This Place. Retrieved from This place