Thomas Struth. Sites of scientific and material progress

0-research-vehicle-armstrong-flight-research-center-edwards-2014.jpgThomas Struth, Research Vehicle, Armstrong Flight Research Center, Edwards, 2014

0rehovot_ThisPlace_Struth_3.jpgThomas Struth, Z-Pinch Plasma Lab, Weizmann Institute, Rehovot, 2011

If you’re in London, drop by the Marian Goodman Gallery (and do it asap because the show closes in a couple of days.) They have a spectacular exhibition of new works by Thomas Struth.

There are two different bodies of work on show. One is the photo series made in Israel and Palestine as part of This Place, the other uncovers places of scientific and technological research in California. I’m not going to surprise anyone if i write that i entered the show to see the Palestine/Israel photos. However, the images left me a bit cold. They are definitely not tourism board material and are impressively made but they have a sense of déjà vu.

Which left me with the six photographs of scientific research spaces. 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.

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.

0-great-armstrong-hangar-703-palmdale.jpgThomas Struth, GREAT, Armstrong Hangar 703, Palmdale

0-polymer-head-jpl-pasadena.jpgThomas Struth, Polymer Head, JPL, Pasadena

0-epitaxy-jpl-pasadena.jpgThomas Struth, Epitaxy, JPL, Pasadena, 2014

0-high-harmonic-generation-spectrometer-weizmann-institute-rehovot.jpgThomas Struth, High Harmonic Generation Spectrometer, Weizmann Institute, Rehovot, 2009

0installdman-gallery-.jpgThomas Struth, Installation view, Marian Goodman Gallery, London

The following images are not part of the London exhibition, but i’m on a tech porn roll and see no reason to stop half way:

0blowout3Struth_NL1.jpgThomas Struth, Blowout Preventer, Mountrail County, North Dakota, 2010

0cahrite9Struth_NL0.jpgThomas Struth, Figure, Charité , Berlin, 2012

0tabe41Struth_NL0.jpgThomas Struth, Table 1, Georgia Tech, Atlanta, 2013

0Struth-Measuring-800x567.jpgThomas Struth, Measuring, Helmholtz-Zentrum, Berlin, 2012

0golem40Struth_NL1.jpgThomas Struth, Golems Playground, Georgia Tech, Atlanta, 2013

Thomas Struth’s photos are at Marian Goodman Gallery, London until 6 June 2015.