Tuesday, 19 July 2011

The Magic of Thomas Struth

I have just met the photographs of Thomas Struth at the Whitechapel. I don't often have the patience to take in what is unique or creative about the photography of professionals, but I find myself rather bewitched by these. Is it their size? Is it merely a cheat that he blows the photos up so large that they become mesmerising? But it's not only this. There's something in the clarity and balance of light that is ... well, perfect. Consistent clarity and brightness in what should be a dingy photo of electricity cables.

Something else. There is something disturbing, or rather intriguing, about the special relationship between myself and the buildings or people in the photos. They feel so near, so close, and yet he fits so much into the picture. Then, the lining up of vertical lines with the edge of the picture is impeccable. If I did that, the lines would inevitably converge. It is a kind of technical magic that mystifies me on both a visual, responsive level and on a logical, investigative level. My camera doesn't do that.