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2018 Annual Conference

Philadelphia

March 01-04, 2018

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2018 SPE Annual Conference: Uncertain Times: Borders, Refuge, Community, Nationhood / Hosted by The University of the Arts

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Thomas Struth: Nature & Politics

Thomas Struth: Nature & Politicsis a photographic exploration of cutting-edge industrial and scientific research spaces. In over 35 works created within the past decade, the celebrated German artist Thomas Struth ambitiously takes technology and engineering as his overarching subject. With vivid color and monumental scale, he investigates the fascinating complexities of sites where knowledge, ambition, and imagination are advanced.

The featured works are drawn from the artist's visits to Europe, America, Asia, and the Middle East. Struth takes viewers into spaces normally kept from public view, such as aeronautical centers, robotics laboratories, and nuclear fusion facilities, examining humanity's attempts to understand and harness forces of nature, often at great cost of resources.

Nature & Politics intersperses Struth's technological subjects with other recent work, including images of the fantasy environments of Disneyland and the politically contested landscape of Israel and the Israeli-occupied West Bank. This poses intriguing questions about the relationship between nature and humanity in our increasingly fabricated world, as well as drawing attention to the financial and political ambition that underscores the massive technological endeavors of our present day.

Thomas Struth: Nature & Politics is co-organized by the Museum Folkwang, Essen; Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin; and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, in collaboration with the Saint Louis Art Museum. The St. Louis presentation is supported by a grant from the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Financial assistance has been provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency. The project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. The exhibition is curated for St. Louis by Eric Lutz, associate curator of prints, drawings, and photographs.

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