I have recently been directed toward the work of German photographer Thomas Struth. Just because my recent ideas found themselves lurking in to the psychological path of Struth’s work. I found this particularly interesting, during an interview given in 1988, Struth is asked to reply to a statement that describes his work “as political and social” : “Certainly, even if not, of course, in a direct manner. As far as my work on urban space is concerned, it is political and social in the sense I described before, of an analysis and a synthesis of our way of living in this society. But, I also think that my interest in portraiture, which I started to make 5 years ago, works in that direction, as a sort of testimony to people living in our age.”
Thomas Struth’s work is a testimony that ‘us’ photographers are researchers. This next extract is from James Lingwood’s Composure [or on being Still] text on Thomas Struth.
Thomas Struth’s photographs over the past 20 years constitute a sustained and concentrated inquiry into the ethics and aesthetics of seeing. Struth’s research is not motivated solely by an interest in what we can see - the surfaces of places, people and paintings - important though the subjects of his photographs are to him. He is equally preoccupied with the question of the way that we see. Because the way that we see, the manners and the models of seeing, are a powerful signifier or our social being, of the way that we are, with ourselves and with others; of the way that we negotiate our relations with people around us, with ‘Strangers and Friends’, to return to the title of an earlier book of Struth’s.
Taken from STILL by Thomas Struth
Thomas Struth has been that artist that I have always admired (from a distance), however it is only now that I feel it has become more relevant to me. With the work I am doing now and the project I am lining up to run straight off of it, I find my own mentality comparing to Struth’s.
Here are a few photographs from his portraits that analyse families.