Space odyssey: photographer Thomas Ruff heads to the moon with new work
The Düsseldorf photographer Thomas Ruff is having his day in the sun, with the Art Gallery of Ontario’s ‘Object Relations’, a major solo show, opening this month.
Closer to home, Chelsea’s David Zwirner Gallery is celebrating Ruff’s latest series of work. Included in the exhibition, ‘press++’, are 12 photographs – some a staggering eight feet in length and six feet across – all devoted to early space exploration.
For his eighth exhibition with the gallery, Ruff has plucked up American newspaper photographs and clippings dating from the 1950s, which he sourced on Ebay.
While referencing German Dada artists’ photomontages from the 1920s, Ruff reinvents the medium of photography by first scanning the front and back of those press photographs, many of them marked up and cropped by newspaper editors, and some even including typed captions. He then combines the two sides via Photoshop and prints the digital file on a larger scale.
In doing so, Ruff creates an entirely new image and puts his personal spin on high tech photography. ‘I want to confuse information,’ he says of the images, depicting rockets lifting off, astronauts and close-ups of the moon with text.