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Thomas Ruff

THU 14.1. 6.30 p.m.
Auditorium Schaulager

Thomas Ruff in conversation with Jacques Herzog, Architect, Herzog & de Meuron (in German)

Thomas Ruff’s (*1958) oeuvre is characterized by a constant fathoming of the means of photography and an incessant investigation of new themes and content. The artist, who studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (Düsseldorf Art Academy) in the photography class of Bernd and Hilla Becher, typically works in long-term series, guided by an underlying conceptual enquiry. In the works belonging to the Porträts (Portraits) group, which can be seen in the exhibition FUTURE PRESENT along with other pieces by Thomas Ruff, he concentrates on this traditional genre but then subjects it to a radical transformation. In large-scale formats depicting every detail and presented in colour, the subjects gazing neutrally into the camera refer less to the portrayed individual than to the formal character of the image and its medial properties. Also in the later work cycles, the artist reveals the technical conditions of his medium and employs a wide variety of resources: making use of the possibilities of analogue and digital imaging such as in the series Maschinen (Machines), of image intensifiers in the series Nacht (Night) or of photographic negatives taken by the ESO (European Southern Observatory) of the star-filled night sky for the series Sterne (Stars).

The artist’s talk is included in the price of admission.