In this clip, Thomas Ruff speaks about his fascination for technology and the camera’s ability to record what the eye can’t see during the Gulf War in 1991. Using similar infrared cameras, Ruff “declared war to Düsseldorf” shooting in the streets of the city and in contrast with the technology of the camera, he superimposed the images in an analog way. Ruff also touches on his satirical photomontages of politicians. Finally, Ruff speaks about how he reinterpreted a major art genre, the nude, through a different and more honest vision by using images he found on the web for X-rated videos. This series introduces his interest in appropriation of Internet images and in their pixels structure that he will further develop in his Jpegs series.
The full version of this talk is available on Vimeo and on our multimedia section, divided in four different clips.
Aperture and the photography department in the School of Art, Media, and Technology at Parsons The New School for Design presented this conversation between artist Thomas Ruff and writer, former picture editor, Philip Gefter, on February 12, 2010 at Aperture Gallery.
Thomas Ruff is among the most important international photographers to emerge in the last fifteen years, and one of the most enigmatic and prolific of Bernd and Hilla Becher’s former students, a group that includes Andreas Gursky, Thomas Struth, Candida Höfer, and Axel Hutte.
In 2009, Aperture released the first monograph dedicated exclusively to the publication of Ruff’s remarkable series: JPEGS. In 2007, Ruff completed his monumental Jpegs series in which he explores the distribution and reception of images in the digital age. Starting with images he culls primarily from the Web, Ruff enlarges them to a gigantic scale, which exaggerates the pixel patterns until they become sublime geometric displays of color. Many of Ruff’s works in the series focus on idyllic, seemingly untouched landscapes, and conversely, scenes of war, and nature disturbed by human manipulation.