Sunday, October 30, 2011



What’s behind a photography ?

Why do we worship photography ?

What has to be seen through a photograph ?



Let’s take Thomas STRUTH, now exposing at MARIAN GOODMAN GALLERY, in PARIS.

What is to be seen objectively in this photograph :

Thomas STRUTH has taken this picture in the Shinju-ku neighbourhood in Tokyo, in 1986.

German Thomas STRUTH comes from the BECHER German school where many photographers went, like Candida HÖFER ( see following post ), where  “another” objectivity was taught.

In the 80’s, Japan  was economically triumphant and fascinated  old Europe, even more the declining Germany  not yet unified ( the Berlin wall dates only from 1989 , remember, you, young folks.)



What does the photographer want us to see, or read :


Your point of departure has to be from what you feel when looking at the art work and what impression it gives you ?


Thomas STRUTH wants us to see objectively the implacable  inhumanity of modernism. You asked for it ! There’s the answer, objectively !


Now to the MEANING :


You, the spectator has now to answer  a few damn relevant questions, like it or not :


- Is the subject  real or imaginary ?

- Is there any particular scenery put in in the picture ?

- Is there too much of the subject or does it evoke absence ?

- Is the subject political ?

- Is there any religious reference to the subject ?

- Is it real or made up ?

- Do you see it as the reproduction of reality or is it the artist’s own view ?

- Has  the photograph gone through any special photographic retouching ?

- Any artistic or cultural influence in the subject or the way the subject is treated ?

- Is there any irony from the artist’s point of view ?

- Is there any search for beauty in the photograph ?

Well, if you have been able to answer all those questions, you’re ready for PARIS PHOTO from November 10th, 2011 !!!!!!!

See you then !


Now to the answers :

Not a soul in sight, total absence of any human being, when the space is huge and when the windows are to be counted by the thousands.

And below ground, the  dark  and horizontal universe where only cars tell of a human activity and presence while above, the vertical universe is overwhelming, using up a 5th of the entire photograph.

And so many more questions are yet to be answered :
- How does your eye circulate in the picture ?

- Are there any links : characters/characters, photographer/character ?

- At which  distance does the photographer stand from the characters ?

- Where does the light come from ?

- Are there any significant details  ?

- Is there any movement ?



Thomas STRUTH chose black and white , for the strictness and purity of the lines, he has been using a large canvas to be able to insert lots of details.


For more on the subject please go to :


See the latest works from Thomas STRUTH at the MARIAN GOODMAN GALLERY

You’ll be surprised as it has nothing to do with the pictures above.

79, rue du Temple

PARIS – 75003

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