Thomas Struth, Paradise 15, Yakushima Japan 1999

At Ambigraph we have a strong affinity for Thomas Struth’s work. Having been to his current exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery, we’ve realised how much his approach for the Paradise series resonates with our thinking behind The Withdrawing Room project.

Some words from Struth about the Paradise images:

“I am very fascinated with complex structures and depth of vision and detail. The jungle pictures have no immediate history of reference, so you must surrender your usual faculties and analytical tools and surrender to just looking. There is nothing to think about too much, so the act of looking becomes more meditative.

They present a kind of empty space: emptied to elicit a moment of stillness and internal dialogue. You have to be able to enjoy this silence in order to communicate with yourself–and eventually with others.”

Not only does this convey a lot of similar thinking that led us to create The Withdrawing Room, it also reminds us of one of our favorite pieces of literature/film Solaris, where the intelligent ocean planet that is too large for humans to understand as a single lifeform, allows those close to it a deeper, and often darker, understanding of themselves. There’s also a visual similarity to the lush and serene opening scene’s of Tarkovsky’s film of Solaris.

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