Thomas Ruff

Substrat, 2002-2003

In the process of making the Substrats, Ruff did not use a camera, make a negative, or enter a darkroom. He took images of Japanese anime and manga from the netherworld of cyberspace and manipulated them into pulsing abstract color fields rendered ultimately on photographic paper by a mechanical printer. While there are numerous “camera-less” photographs, from Man Ray’s Rayographs to Adam Fuss’s darkroom physics, they retain the characteristic photographic quality of reliance on light to trigger a chemical reaction to produce an image. Similar to these camera-less photographers, Ruff produces no negative from which an image is printed; unlike these artists, Ruff’s images could be endlessly reproducible from their “original” file, and without any variation from human error in the printing process. But with this group of images that can barely be classified as photographs, Ruff seems to be laying claim to something beneath the surface of the image. Where he has said in the past that he photographs nothing more than surfaces, the title Substratum implies that these pictures capture something of the essence, the basis, of photography.

Thomas Ruff
Substrat, 2002-2003
approx. 32 x 200 cm (convert to inch)
print – Print
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approx. € 3.151,26excl. tax

€ 3.750,00* inc. tax


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