Kunsthaus Zürich Shows “Thomas Struth. Photographs 1978-2010”

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“…那幅画与我所一直想要拍的非常接近,然而,我直到10多年后才能够将她拍下来…” —— Thomas Struth

我从90年代初开始拍摄博物馆里的人们,当时我刚刚拜访了马德里的Prado博物馆,并被Velasquez的Las Meninas(宫廷仕女图)深深打动,我对自己说:”天哪,为什么没有人告诉过我!”…那幅画与我所想要拍摄的非常接近,然而,我直到10多年后才能够将她拍下来。

2005年,当我返回马德里的时,我对摄影的理解已经达到了一个新的阶段,我想,一定要拍出一些不同的东西。于是,我将自己置于人群中,尝试创造一种更亲密的视角,观察、描绘这些观看画作的人们。

我在那里拍摄了7天,每天8个小时,观察着这幅画前所发生的每一个细节:学校里的女学生们总是靠得很近,胳膊几乎都要碰到画上;我喜欢左边两个一脸疑惑的男人,他们很认真地听向导的讲解,却似乎完全不相信的样子,我觉得这很有趣。

拍摄的时候我将三脚架装上了轮子,这样可以更自由地移动,但是我的4×5相机体积太庞大了,在人群里依旧过于醒目。有些人把我当作博物馆的摄影师,甚至有人认出我来,一个日本人就跑过来问:”你来自德国吗?”我说是,他立刻说道:”你一定是Thomas
Struth。”拍完这张照片时,我想,”好了,是时候结束这个项目了,看来已经无法再隐秘地拍摄了。”

『关于Thomas Struth
出生:哥德堡,德国,1954年

拍摄灵感:Walker Evans,Bernd,Hilla Becher,Jeff Wall

高潮:”在Prado的时候,人们很友善,把我当作一个专家,他们很好奇我对博物馆有多少了解。”

低谷:”当我带着400张底片从Prado回来后,发现其中300张被飞机的X光机彻底损毁。还好我只需要通过数字后期挽救1、2张我需要用的既可。”

不喜欢的事情:”与耐心做斗争 ─ 我的工作非常需要沉得住气。”

梦想拍摄的项目:”一张Barack Obama全家的肖像。”

Thomas Struth,Crosby Street,New York, 1978. Silver Gelatine Print, 66 x84 cm. Atelier Thomas Struth. © Thomas Struth.

ZURICH.- From 11 June to 12 September 2010 the Kunsthaus Zürich presents the largest and most comprehensive exhibition of work by Thomas Struth to date. The photographs on show, some 100 mostly large-format, were produced between 1978 and the present day. The exhibition also includes a premiere presentation of a group of new pieces.

At the latest since the success of his Museum Photographs in the early 1990s, Thomas Struth (born in 1954) has emerged as one of the world’s leading and most influential artistic photographers. His work develops slowly, in thematic series, between documentation and interpretation, social study and latent psychological meaning. Struth’s careful and meticulous method allies his oeuvre not only with the history of classical photography but also – by way of his constant questioning of his own representational techniques – with contemporary art as well.

Streets empty of people, visitors standing before famous artworks in renowned museums, portraits of individuals and families as well as landscapes, jungles and flowers: Struth’s photographic work over the last thirty years can be roughly classified into these four groups.

Street and Museum Photographs

It began with his street pictures in the late 1970s. Initially structured with strict central symmetry, later more freely composed black-and-white images of European streets empty of human beings. There followed street scenes from Asian cities, now incorporating the bustle of passers-by as a central pictorial element. Struth became renowned for his museum photographs, which take the presence and comportment of visitors confronted with world-famous art in museums as their motif. Ultimately, however, Struth was just as interested in the question of the meaning centuries-old pictures are still able to convey. ‘The museums were almost always full to bursting, and that made me wonder what people are actually looking for when they stand in front of these historic paintings. For me a museum is a place for sharpening my instruments, my perception. What is the use of pictures from the past? How can they serve to inspire me to interesting or productive future ideas?’

Family Portraits

Another pivotal group is composed of family photograph from around the world. Struth’s work in what at first seems an antiquated genre was triggered by the artist’s desire to understand himself: ‘I was trying to analyse and to comprehend myself, my own family, the position of the family in western culture; I was thinking of why we are the way we are.’

Pictures fromParadiseand New Works

Finally, the Zurich show, curated by Tobia Bezzola, in addition to Struth’s fourth central category of works, his photographs of landscapes, jungles and flowers, also features a series of new pieces, some of them very large-format, which herald a new thematic classification within Struth’s oeuvre. The artist here focuses on the complex visual structures produced by complex technical facilities. These most recent pieces may be seen as the continuation of Struth’s interest in a ‘history of human ambition’, which makes itself manifest in the collective accomplishments of a given culture, whether in the form of a mediaeval cathedral, an urban structure, or the design of a space ship.

Thomas Struth

1954: born in Geldern (Lower Rhine), lives in Düsseldorf andBerlin. 1973–1980: studies at the Art Academy of Düsseldorf. 1978: awarded the Art Academy of Düsseldorf’sNew Yorkfellowship. 1980–1982: civilian service. 1990: awarded Werner Mantz Prize by the Werner Mantz Foundation. 1993–1996: professorship at Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design. 1997: Spectrum – International Prize for Photography, Foundation ofLower Saxony. 2007: marriage to Tara Bray Smith.

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