In the centre of the exhibition is a new body of work which Struth developed at the Leibniz Institute for Zoological and Wildlife Research (IZW) in Berlin. The institute researches evolutionary developments and the adaptions of wildlife to a humanly modified environment, in order to help design appropriate concepts and methods for conservation. The examination of deceased animals marks an important part of the institute's studies.
Struth photographed the animals on site, in the laboratory environment of IZW, reminding us of the fragility of life and our own transitory nature.
"I tried to depict the animals in a beautiful, dignified fashion. I’m interested in the idea of surrender: Once you die, all the circus that you proactively create, the theater, comes to a full stop. These pictures should be like punches, the memento of death as a wake-up call."
Laboratory spaces are a recurring motif from a previous series of Struth's oeuvre where he showed highly complex, abstract and inaccessible places of science, innovation and medical settings. The new works draw on these antecedents and unite topics of Struth's practice, such as mortality, progress, technology and illusion.
The exhibition further presents new works from Struth's series of places of industrial and scientific progress. Here, he approaches the complexity of technical developments and enables an insight into usually unaccessible areas. Meaning and function of the depicted often remain unclear but the highly evolved machines and seemingly futuristic devices from research, medicine and industry elicit a deep fascination for the possibilities of human inventions.
At the same time, Galerie Max Hetzler presents the solo exhibition LADI ROGEURS: SIR LOUDRAGE – a still life by Loris Gréaud at Goethestraße 2/3.
Thomas Struth (*1954, Geldern) lives and works in Berlin. Since 1987, Struth has been exhibiting regularly at Galerie Max Hetzler. His comprehensive solo exhibition Nature & Politics was inaugurated in 2016 at Museum Folkwang, Essen, and traveled to Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin; High Museum, Atlanta; Moody Center for the Arts, Houston and finally to the Saint Louis Art Museum. Further important solo exhibitions took place at Haus der Kunst, Munich (2017); Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2014 and 2003); Kunsthaus Zürich, Zurich; Museu Serralves, Porto; Whitechapel Gallery, London; K20, Düsseldorf (all in 2011); Museo del Prado, Madrid (2007); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2003); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and Dallas Museum of Art (2002). Currently, his work is presented at the Aspen Art Museum until 10 June 2018.