Of all the photographers to emerge from the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and the Becher school, Thomas Ruff has probably pursued the most radical and varied exploration of the nature and history of photography and its genres. With his recent series “press++,” 2016, based on archival press photographs, he once again opens a new chapter. For the enormous range of his work from the 1980s until now, Ruff has consistently pursued two basic lines of investigation: how the medium of photography and its rapidly changing technology shapes our notion of the relationship between image and reality, and how we ourselves both experience and produce this relationship.
Ruff typically proceeds by focusing on a specific array of (historic) publicity images in order to lend them a new and altered kind of visibility. Thus his “Nudes,” 1999–2011, are derived from pixelated internet porn, while the 2008–2009
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