Max Colson: Tales

Photojournalism MA student at the LCC

Posts Tagged ‘Thomas Struth

Some bookmarks

with 2 comments

Paul Graham A1- the great North Road

Paul Graham, from 'A1 - The Great North Road'

Haven’t posted recently again.┬áNot that I haven’t been doing anything though, it’s more that I’ve been looking at others a bit more and then separately also trying to work out what the point is of the next thing I shoot. ┬áThat and a million other things. God, life is busy sometimes!

Everything is continuously punctuated by blown awayness. For me at the moment it is all about unearthing; I feel like I’m making up for lost time somehow.

The internet is great. It’s at once mountainous but also, inevitably, inspiring. Here is my current list of faves as of Nov 2011, the month of my 26th Birthday. I’ve enjoyed checking these guys out so I hope other people will find them interesting as well:

Walker Evans

Simon Roberts

Tom Hunter

Alec Soth

Vanessa Winship

David Monteleone

Yael Bartana

Walid Raad

Nadav Kandar

Simon Norfolk

Taryn Simon

Broomberg and Chanarin

Stephen Shore

Miriam O’Connor

Thomas Struth

Paul Graham

The good thing is that this doesn’t feel like proasic study, it’s just immensely enjoyable. I guess that’s a good place to be.

We-English-Simon Roberts

from Simon Robert's 'We English'

Advertisements

Thomas Struth and Awesomeness

leave a comment »

I just checked out the Thomas Struth exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery in London: what an immensely brilliant experience.

To be quite honest I didn’t know a lot about the artist before I went to the exhibition but I can say that the retrospective really gives you a serious insight into the obsessions of this exceptional photographer. This guy is seriously ON IT. My favourite part of the exhibition deals with his investigation of things that we see to be worth looking at and not worth looking at.

The first floor of the exhibition is exclusively dedicated to the artist’s photographs of awesome constructions. These images are split into two parts: ones that depict the things that people queue up to wonder at, and the ones that show the things which don’t attract attention. Noticeably it is always the technological machinery that isn’t being looked at by anyone, whilst the the works of art and religious buildings are the objects that attract our most awestruck gazes. Here are some examples of what I mean:

1. Religious and artistic constructions:

Pantheon, Rome Thomas Struth

Pantheon, Rome (by Thomas Struth)

Thomas Struth San Zaccaria, Venice

San Zaccaria, Venice (by Thomas Struth)

Audience 7, Florence, 2004 Thomas Struth

Audience 7, Florence (by Thomas Struth)

2. Technological constructions:

Thomas Struth, Semi Submersible Rig, DSME Shipyard, Geoje Island, South Korea, 2007

Semi Submersible Rig, DSME Shipyard, Geoje Island, South Korea (by Thomas Struth)

Times Square, New York, Thomas Struth

Times Square, New York (by Thomas Struth)

Stellarator Wendelstein 7-X Detail, Max Planck IPP, Greifswald, Thomas Struth

Stellarator Wendelstein 7-X Detail, Max Planck IPP, Greifswald (by Thomas Struth)

As you can see, all of Struth’s photographs are incredibly framed. It’s really cool that the artist captures the technological constructions in a way that shows that they are as immense as the religious sites (just look at the image of the oil rig in South Korea!)

Yet Struth has also chosen to photograph these particular tech constructions mainly because no one is looking at them. As we can see in the oil rig image, there is no one queuing and both dock workers are fairly busy with other things.

Essentially Struth’s images show us power and the way it works in society by asking the simple question: why is it that we consider some things to be awesome and other things to be not? Or to put it more bluntly: these technological constructions are the ones that have been built by the powers that control our modern age (e.g. science, commercialisation and communications); why aren’t we looking at these at all?

Awesomeness. It’s a bit frightening isn’t it?