Nature & Politics, the great exhibition by Thomas Struth organised at MAST in Bologna, is like a journey at the end of the ordinary world, which presents important stages in which industrial machines, used in science and hyper-technology, become another body, a piece that breaks with the linearity of time and an intervention that generates different perceptions on the world of robotics.
Aside from the pedantic and, strictly speaking, useless presentation by Urs Stahel, the curator of the exhibition, who organised an embarrassing press conference where he spoke for an hour (as if it were a university hall filled with freshers), this thematic retrospective of Thomas Struth’s work is well-worth a visit because every single frame and every single composition facilitates a genial chromatic dialogue – geometric elegance that sometimes verges on abstraction – and creates a divergent synecdoche in which a part refers to a parallel place coinciding with the real space of the spectator.
Every single photo in this itinerary, which is linked to “nature” and “politics”, the space of learning, as well as «man’s own ability to operate with the utmost manual and artistic precision» is an unsettling reflection on «contemporary research and high technology», a goal achieved by human nature, whose desire to know and discover leaps the present and stretches towards a sci-fi future to be created.
Distillation Column (Gladbeck, 2009), Grazing Incidence Spectrometer – Max Planck IPP (Garching, 2010), Space Shuttle 1, Kennedy Space Center (Cape Canaveral, 2008) and the beautiful photo Chemistry Fume Cabinet (The University of Edinburgh, 2010) are some of the images on display in this itinerary of man’s progress that not only appears to record the development of life, but also plays on the space left to the observer, on the wide platform for reflection constructed around what is new, ceaselessly. «For me, it’s a question of wondering how something that did not exist previously in the mind can materialize into a concept and become part of reality. When we use the expression ‘imagine something’, we are already recognizing the brain’s ability to think in images».
Tomas Struth, curated by Urs Stahel, MAST, Bologna, 02.02.2019 – 22.04.2019
images: (cover 1) Thomas Struth, «Chemistry Fume Cabinet», The University of Edinburgh, 2010. C-print, 120,5 x 166,0 cm © Thomas Struth (2) Thomas Struth, «Grazing Incidence Spectrometer», Max Planck IPP, Garching, 2010. C-print, 115,1 x 144,0 cm © Thomas Struth (3) Thomas Struth, «GRACE-Follow-On Bottom View», IABG, Ottobrunn, 2017. Inkjet print, 139,7 x 219,4 cm © Thomas Struth (4) Thomas Struth, «Bronchial Tree with Support Structure», MMM, Wildau 2016. Inkjet print, 77,9 x 114,9 cm © Thomas Struth