In his photographs of the Ruhr region in Germany, Thomas Struth’s interest is focused on façades, squares and streets, on the architectural design of public spaces, on architectural structures and idioms developed over longer periods of time and thus functioning almost as a record of social conditions, yet also influencing these conditions individually and collectively. It is a precisely defined and therefore limited interest, photographically expressed with such methodical clarity that one wonders about the subject matters Thomas Struth has chosen not to show: there are no pictures of workplaces, interiors of homes or supermarkets; no pictures of communicating, producing, consuming people.
Thomas Struth’s photography records and preserves architecture, rescues it in pictures form the destruction it faces in fact. The buildings are objective evidence and instruments of the exploitation and subjugation of human life to the tyranny of profit-oriented interests. These buildings have acquired a historical and social specificity, recklessly disregarded by a modernistic future that has already long dominated the present.