Opening speech by: László F. Földényi aesthete, writer, critic
Curator: Zsolt Petrányi, Műcsarnok / Kunsthalle, Budapest
Mucsarnok / Kunsthalle Budapest is pleased to present the solo show of Thomas Ruff
Thomas Ruff’s work is an encyclopaedic encapsulation of today’s photography. His subjects extend from portraits to galaxies, from the micro- to the macrocosm. His approach is simultaneously scientific and political, while he is also sensitive to shifts in the approaches of contemporary visual culture. The techniques he has employed represent all major steps in the development of photography, including digital image making. His monumental enlargements are expressive lessons in the method, or what he calls the grammar of photography.
The digital world has turned everything that is related to images upside down. Photography as the most trustworthy representation of the world has lost some of its authenticity, because image manipulation in the media has compromised the portrayal of men, and even political documentation.
The issues Thomas Ruff’s oeuvre explores are how a photographer in the digital age should deal with the deluge of images, and how the photographs spread and stored on the internet can be made to serve a lesson that throws a new light on the structure of visual culture. Thomas Ruff is a man who knows when to quit: when something proves outdated, he changes his methods and finds new ways for himself.
As a photographer, Thomas Ruff made professional techniques his starting point. His large-size blow-ups surpass even reality: stepping close, you can see details in the pictures which would normally require a microscope to detect. This is his way of reflecting on the uses of photography in the technological culture that emerged in the 1990s. One possible application, he suggests, is to make the photo show more of reality than what is available to the naked eye.
Műcsarnok’s retrospective exhibition presents Ruff’s oeuvre through his most important series to date: jpeg; Machines; Substrate; Nudes; Portraits; Other Portraits; Nights; Newspaper Photographs; Stars, including the newest Zycels.
Supporters: Goethe Institut Budapest, German Embassy in Hungary
Media supporters: MindShare, Port.hu, Art-magazin
Mobile communication partner: T-Mobile
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