Thomas Ruff

托马斯·鲁夫
토마스 루프
توماس راف
トーマス·ルフ

Jpegs

Thomas Ruff   Jpegs

source: whoswhode

Thomas Ruff wurde im Jahr 1958 in Zell am Harmersbach (Schwarzwald) geboren.

Von 1977 bis 1985 studierte er an der Düsseldorfer Kunstakademie. Er war unter anderem Schüler von Bernd und Hilla Becher. Thomas Ruff ging neben seinen Studienkollegen Andreas Gursky, Axel Hütte und Thomas Struth als international anerkannter Star aus der Schule von Bernd Becher hervor. Fertigte er zunächst kleinformatige Fotografien an, so umfassen seine Portraitserien seit 1986 eine monumentale Größe. Sie geben seine objektive, neutrale und konzentrierte Beobachtung wieder.

Dabei sind sie so realisiert, dass sowohl Kleidung als auch Gesichter bis ins kleinste Detail mit einer Hyperpräzision abgebildet sind. So wirken seine Bilder auf den ersten Blick nicht spektakulär. Erst beim zweiten Blick bemerkt der Betrachter die große Sachlichkeit in der Beobachtung und in der Wiedergabe des Künstlers. Dabei ist es gerade diese große Sachlichkeit, die auf die Differenz zwischen Realität und Foto deutlich hinweist. Dennoch zeigen seine Gesichter Individualität und Persönlichkeit. Noch während seines Studiums fotografierte Thomas Ruff in seinem Frühwerk Badezimmer, Küchen, Wohnzimmer und vor Allem Schlafzimmer aus den 1950er bis 1970er Jahren.

Dabei machte er entweder Aufnahmen von dem Gesamteindruck des Raumes oder er lichtete das Einzelobjekt ab. Seit 1987 wendet er sich auch der Architekturfotografie zu. Er bildet Wohnhäuser, Schulgebäude, Verwaltungsbauten und Fabrikbauten ab. Dabei hält er die gleiche Neutralität fest. Diese erreicht er durch bestimmte gleichbleibende Vorgaben, die er radikal durchhält. So werden die Architekturbauten entweder frontal oder in der Übereck-Perspektive festgehalten. Die gleichmäßige Bildschärfe, die neutrale Beleuchtung und der immer gleiche Standpunkt von rund drei Metern Höhe gewährleisten die intentionierte Neutralität in der Architekturfotografie von Ruff.

Die Bauten füllen das Bild als Hauptgegenstand komplett aus, so dass die Umgebung dazu ausgeblendet ist. Die Bilder werden zum Teil noch digital nachbearbeitet, um Störungen zu eliminieren. Dadurch tritt aber auch eine Reduzierung des Aussagegehaltes ein. Mit diesen Standards erreicht der Fotograf die ihm typische Objektivität seiner Bilder. Dabei genügt ihm – wie auch zu seinen übrigen Motiven – von dem betreffenden Objekt eine einzige Motivaufnahme, wodurch er das Exemplarische in seinen Wiedergaben betont. Ein Vergleich des Objektes von verschiedenen Perspektiven fällt damit weg. Die Architekturaufnahmen sind für Ruff auch Dokumentation eines Zeitgeistes, der sich besonders in den Fassaden der Bauten offenbart.

Im Jahr 1988 erhielt er den Förderungspreis des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen für junge Künstler und 1990 den Dorothea von Stetten-Kunstpreis. Es folgten ab 1989 Aufnahmen des Sternenhimmels, die nicht auf eigenen Fotografien beruhen. 1999 erhielt er die Professur für Photographie an der Staatlichen Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. Ruff leitete dort von 2000 bis 2006 die Klasse für Fotografie (die ehemalige Becher-Klasse). 2003 veröffentlichte Thomas Ruff den Foto-Band “Nudes” mit einem Text des französischen Schriftstellers Michel Houellebecq. Neben der Plattenkamera setzt Thomas Ruff auch Spezialkameras oder antiquierte Fotoapparate ein. Zudem bezieht er Bilder aus dem Internet in seine Arbeit ein.
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source: apertureorg

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 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.

Taken together, these masterworks create an encyclopedic compendium of contemporary visual culture that also actively engages the history of landscape painting. A fittingly deluxe and oversized volume, Jpegs is the first monograph dedicated exclusively to the publication of Ruff’s remarkable series.

Thomas Ruff (born in Zell am Harmersbach, Germany, 1958) has exhibited in galleries and museums throughout Europe, Asia, and North America, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; and Kunst-Werke, Berlin. He is the 2006 recipient of the International Center of Photography’s Infinity Award.

Essay by Bennet Simpson
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source: davidcampany

The photographic art of Thomas Ruff makes very particular demands of us and offers very particular kinds of pleasure, both aesthetic and intellectual. His work seems cold and dispassionate, willful, searching and perverse but at times surprisingly beautiful. Whether he is working with found photographs or shooting his own, the results are similar. He makes images that are at once familiar clichés and estranged visions of our collective photographic order. Ruff’s art dramatises photography for us as an image form that is always as public as it is private, and as anonymous as it is personal. The viewer may find themselves switching between thinking about the particular image they see before them and contemplating the state of ‘all photography’ in its terrifying and sublime totality.

Indeed what is particular about Ruff’s work is its potent ability to solicit individual and global responses that cannot be entirely reconciled. It seems to belong to everybody and nobody and as a result we are neither free to look just as individuals nor to respond ‘collectively’ either. For obvious reasons I will try to leave aside your personal response and concentrate on what we might call the public or collective context.

Found images and archives have been of interest to vanguard artists at least since the 1920s with the rise of Dada, Surrealism and Cubism. This was the first era of the mass media, defined by the popular illustrated magazines and cinema. Since then artists have worked with found images in different ways but always in an attempt to make sense of a culture increasingly dominated by spectacle. In an age of distraction how do we hold on to what is important? How do we maintain meaningful relationships? How do we keep to reason? How do we find alternative values? How do we map the ways mass culture constructs our notions of desire, beauty and significance? For many artists, using the imagery produced by mass culture is a necessity. Adapting the images that surround us is a way of making sense and staying sane. As Colin MacCabe put it in his biography of the filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard, ‘In a world in which we are entertained from cradle to grave whether we like it or not, the ability to rework image and dialogue … may be the key to both psychic and political health.’

All photographic images come from archives. The very idea of the archive shaped how photography developed from its invention in the 1830s. The standardisation of cameras and film formats, the standardisation of printed matter, the standardisation of the family album, the picture library, the computer image file, the press agency and even the modern art gallery – these are all archival forms of, and for, the photographic image. The hungry gathering and ordering of information proceeds according to rules but it is forever holding off a potential collapse into chaos, because there is always something wild and unpredictable about the behaviour of images (never mind the quantity of them). We feel the strain of that disaster more than ever as the world’s archives are themselves subject to digital re-archiving and redistribution via the internet.

When artists address the archive they align themselves with that confidence and that doubt, with the archive’s order and its barely contained anxiety. Pop, Minimalism and Conceptualism, perhaps the three most influential strands of post-war art, all prized the archive or the archival grid as their ideal form. We see it in Warhol’s screen-prints, in the sculptures of Donald Judd and Carl Andre, the installations of Sol Lewitt and Hanne Darboven and the photo work of Christian Boltanksi and Bernd & Hilla Becher. The archival grid has been art’s quasi-bureaucratic way to mimic and estrange the modern regimes of the image.

In Thomas Ruff’s JPEGs the grid is present in a number of ways. Firstly there is Ruff’s preference for working in series. Indeed all his work to date has been serial. The series presents whatever is particular about an image in the context of a general group. The effect is to simultaneously emphasize and de-emphasize whatever is specific about his chosen photographs. We see each image as unique but we see that uniqueness only by sensing the grouping or series of which it is a part. Meaning emerges as much from comparison and contrast as from any individual image. We cannot know simply by looking at them from which archives Ruff’s JPEGs have come. Certainly they come from Ruff’s archive, from his own assembled series. But they might also come from other archives. These might be images from the internet, for example. (In fact Ruff tells us they are from the internet). He searched for the images online, often following links from one site to another, following his own routes as we all do. But what does it mean so say that an image is ‘from the internet’? Is the internet an archive? In one sense it is but it is too general a term. It is not so much an archive as an archive of archives. So Ruff’s JPEGs belong to at least three archives: his own, the internet, and the specific archives accessed online. They may also belong to a fourth archive, perhaps an original analogue archive that has been digitized and made available electronically. And they may belong to a fifth archive of collective memory and to a sixth archive of the viewer’s individual memory. And so on.

All images that appear on the internet and/or printed in books and magazines today are digitised. Nearly all images are digital even if they originated in non-digital or pre-digital forms. Given this fact it is surprising how few of them ever wish to address the fact that they exist as masses of electronic information that take visual form as pixels. Ruff has done a great deal to introduce into photographic art what we might call an ‘art of the pixel’, allowing us to contemplate at an aesthetic and philosophical level the basic condition of the electronic image. Of course he does this not by showing us the images on screens but by making large scale photographic prints, blowing them up far beyond their photorealist resolution. This might be the first time some of these images have ever taken a material form.

The pixel has replaced the grain of photographic film. Either images are shot digitally or older analogue images are scanned and converted into electronic data. Analogue photography developed an aesthetics of grain quite early on, especially through reportage. In the 1930s, 40s and 50s, graininess took on the connotations of ‘authenticity’, coded as a kind of limit to which the photographer and the equipment had been pushed. The most famous example is Robert Capa’s group of pictures from the D-Day landings at Omaha Beach during the Second World War. The indistinct haziness of the images was treated as a sign of the sheer urgency of the situation and of extreme human endurance (even though Capa’s grain was actually the result of hasty processing by an assistant in the darkroom). In the post war decades photographers borrowed this convention, using grain as an expressionistic device to speak of limits of one kind or another – personal, aesthetic, technical, artistic. It’s in the work of everyone from William Klein and Robert Frank to Larry Clark and Nan Goldin. Today it is almost a cliché but for a while at least grain became a sign of the virtuous materiality of the image and of the virtuous, embodied photographer.

Pixels are quite different. They are grid-like, machinic and repetitive. They do not have the scattered chaos of grain. When we glimpse pixels we do not think of authenticity (although we may do one day). The pixel represents a cold technological limit, a confrontation with the virtual and bureaucratic order than secretly unites all images in a homogenous electronic continuum, whether they are holiday snapshots or military surveillance. But there is evidence that our response to the pixel is changing and we can measure something of that change through Thomas Ruff’s JPEGS.

Many of these photographs are images of unpredictability. Water, fire, smoke, steam, explosions, ruins. These are all phenomena that cannot be mapped or modelled in their detail. They are in a sense irrational, anarchic. We see these subjects throughout Ruff’s grids of pixels. We switch from looking at figuration to abstraction and back again. The result is a great tension or drama. And it is tempting to see in this drama something of the character of modern life with its great forces of rationality and irrationality.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This essay was first written for a IANN magazine. Ruff’s JPEG series doesn’t work very well on the internet or computer screen: the images need to be experienced as printed matter, moving from screen to page or wall.
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source: blogartinternnet

托马斯·鲁夫(Thomas Ruff)1958年生于德国,现生活工作于德国杜塞尔多夫。

托马斯·鲁夫暂时将他最著名的媒材一摄影放在一旁,来尝试在画布上的喷墨绘画。

虽然这与鲁夫之前的作品差异很大,但这些绘画扩展了艺术家对复制技术潜力的探索。它们与他对发现材料与图像传播的兴趣相关联。

从他早期的肖像作品到他最近的扩印下载于网络的图像,鲁夫一直在检测摄影的局限性。

作为他人体与基板系列作品的延伸,鲁夫最新的“JPEG”系列作品从网络上挪用了我们熟悉的图像,来探索当这些图像在电子化传播的过程中所经历的转型与退化。

他将下载于网络的“JPEG”图像打印成极为庞大的尺寸,这样出现的模糊不清的矩形马赛克孔径,产生了几乎近似于印象派的效果。于是将这些内容为当下事件一如恐怖袭击或自然灾难的图像进行了巨大的转变。

鲁夫利用这些图像并不仅仅是关注我们对图像的依赖的毁灭而更多是探索抽象与数字化图像相关联的过程,以及这一过程是如何影响摄影这种媒介与我们日常的经验。
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source: voutu

除了让相机去做复制工作,鲁夫的另外几组作品则是主观的使用摄影复制性语言。摄影的复制性曾在摄影发明初期成为照片被指责的灾难性原因,人们通常认为摄影的复制能力使照片失去了以往艺术作品的灵光而显得粗俗不堪。

不同时期,不同流派的摄影家大都更愿意从摄影中发掘更丰富广泛的内涵和表现,以求走到”艺术”的阳光大道上。鲁夫则正好相反,他试图彰显摄影的本质特性从而使其在艺术丛林中争得一席之地,或者说,他使摄影回归到摄影本身。

《群星》(Stars,1989-1992)作品的外观看起来像是黑色背景上被溅上密密麻麻的白色斑点,这些260cm x 188cm的大画幅照片源于鲁夫少年时代对天文学的爱好。由于装备原因无法拍摄专业天文照片,鲁夫从欧洲南方天文台的档案处找到天文学家拍摄的夜空星群照片,通过从这些负片中选择细节复制并放大,从而制作出自己的艺术作品。
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source: tiendalafabrica

Thomas Ruff nació en 1958 en Zell am Harmersbach, una pequeña localidad alemana junto a la Selva Negra. Tras aficionarse a la astronomía y a la fotografía, acudió a la Kunstakademie (B.B.A.A) de Düsseldorf bajo la tutela de Bernd Becher. Su primera serie, comenzada en 1979, fueron los Interiores de su propia casa y de sus amigos. A partir de ahí y en series como Retratos, Arquitecturas, m.v.d.r, Substratos, Posters, Desnudos, JPGS, Máquinas, Cassini, Marte, Ciclos, Noches o Máquinas, Ruff ha ido cuestionando algunas asunciones clásicas de la fotografia, en primer lugar su valor como verdad. A todo color y en gran formato.

Junto a compañeros y amigos como Andreas Gursky, Candida Höfer, Axel Htte o Thomas Struth, forma parte de un grupo de fotógrafos, siempre radicados en Düsseldorf, que han revolucionado el mundo de la fotografía artística contemporanea.

Ha expuesto en los principales museos del mundo y su obra figura en las colecciones de mayor prestigio internacional.
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source: culturalemawordpress

Thomas Ruff, fotógrafo, nasceu em 1958 em Zell am Harmersbach, uma pequena cidade no sudoeste da Alemanha. Com apenas 23 anos, ainda estudante, Thomas já começa a mostrar seu trabalho em importantes galerias e instituições de arte, não apenas de seu país, mas também na França, Suíça, Canadá, Holanda, Estados Unidos, Itália, Bélgica, Inglaterra, Escandinávia, Espanha, Japão e Israel.

Thomas torna-se mais conhecido ainda depois de uma exposição intitulada Porträt (Retrato), de 86, na qual trabalha com retratos de pessoas comuns em grandes dimensões, marcando definitivamente seu lugar entre os grandes fotógrafos alemães.

Dessa forma, os trabalhos de Thomas passaram a figurar na maioria das exposições internacionais, tanto próprias quanto aquelas feitas em conjunto com outros fotógrafos. Thomas Ruff vai além de sua área e se dedica ao diálogo com outros profissionais e suas produções, como fez com os arquitetos suíços Jacques Herzog e Pierre de Meuron, que desenvolvem projetos experimentais baseados na integração entre arte e arquitetura.

Em 2003 foi publicado um dos trabalhos mais polêmicos de Thomas, Nudes, no qual o artista fez modificações digitais em fotos pornográficas retiradas da internet, tentando com isso dar um toque artístico a este material. As fotos são acompanhadas por textos do escritor francês Michel Houellebecq. Atulamente Thomas Ruff é professor de fotagrafia na Academia de Arte de Düsseldorf.