Thomas Rusch
May 1st – July 11th 2015

Thomas Rusch, born 1962 in Freiburg/Breisgau, Germany, has been particularly interested in eroticism since he took up photography. Being the prime impetus in his work, the topic of sexuality also represents the main subject in his way of looking at the world through a lens – a basic influence shaping his work through the past decades. Although the imagery had been changing constantly over the years, in his photographic research Rusch always considered the question of how we, as culturally formed beings, deal with this crucial topic. It is a play with ambiguity with which he aims at our perception: sometimes seemingly soft and smooth surfaces can convey all too explicit facts. At other times, Rusch's work is concerned with obsessions and fetishism and shows us the intimacy behind any extroversion.
After his move to Hamburg in his twenties, Rusch gained critical acclaim for his series „Paradise Lost“ (1991). Influenced by his catholic upbringing, the series staged densely propped portraits infused with christian symbolism. During his years in Paris (1999-2009), the aesthetics of advertising and pornography became a subject in his artistic work. In the series „Fashion Victim“ (2003) and „Spacebabes“ (2005) that developed in those years, Rusch combined fetishism, bondage, and explicit poses with the perfectly smooth and retouched surfaces of fashion photography. The way Rusch photographically represented women in these series was often bigger-than-life – omnipotent creatures in glossy latex-armor.
The photographic work from his recent years in Berlin and Hamburg shows sexuality from another perspective: the pictures of the exhibition „À Fleur de Peau“ (2014) illuminate details of human skin. In the large-format series „schwarz/weiss“ (2009-2015) and „Hortus Florum“ (2011-2015), the smoothness and sensitivity of our biggest sensory organ are focussed. Here, intimacy is not shown as mediated through extroverted gestures, but by extremely close proximity.

Opening reception
April 30th 2015, 7pm