For the past 15 months Struth has been photographing taxidermied animal specimens from the collections of the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin. Each animal is carefully composed in the frame: zebra, giant heron, red fox among them. Taxidermy and photography are both ways of stopping time. As memento mori they are also starkly, hauntingly beautiful in their forensic formality.
There’s no evidence of human action in either body of work--it’s as if the lab experiments made themselves and the animals preserved and arranged themselves for study--except for the presence of the photographer behind the camera that makes seeing them possible.
Thomas Struth: New Works is on view at Marian Goodman Gallery in New York at 24 West 57th Street through December 22, 2017.