Substrat 7 III
Born in Zell am Harmersbach, Germany in 1958. Ruff was recognized for his talent from early on as one of the new generation photographers tutored by Bernd and Hilla Becher at the Becher School of the Düsseldorf Art Academy (Kunstakademie Düsseldorf). He has an important position in art history as the artist redefining the concept of photography in the modern age. In his series “Portrräts” (Portraits), Ruff photographed ordinary bust photos of his friends and “largely extended” them to more than two meters. These photographs, which remarkably deviated from life-size, changed the viewer’s perception of looking at a large “photograph” of a person, rather than looking at a “person” in the photograph. From a technology that simply captures facts, photography became a visualization of the reality of modern society and is being recognized as a broad “image” with plasticity. Ruff redefined photography by leaving behind the common notion that photography is something that anyone can do with a camera, that it belongs to the act of “taking a picture”, to the idea that the world is already full of “images”, and photography refers to the overall visual expression dealing with them. His practice has transformed in a way that sometimes the act of “taking a picture” is unnecessary anymore. Ruff’s works were displayed at Documenta 9 in Kassel, Germany in 1992, at the Venice Biennale in 1995 and 2005, and at many other international exhibitions and solo shows at major museums.