*1958 in Zell am Harmersbach, lives and works in Düsseldorf
In his works, Thomas Ruff expands the concept of photography and its possibilities by a further dimension. He revises the original aim of photography to be objective testimony to our visible reality. It becomes apparent that the constant development and reception of his works is based on the subject of a critical as well as affirmative challenge of the photographic image, its techniques and effects. In the series r.phg, created since 2012, Ruff examines the photogram as a traditional method in view of its timeliness under digital conditions. The issue of the reality of the visible beyond the image seems inevitable. The manipulation of the “true” image that the photogram is based on, by means of a virtual darkroom and computer generated renderings, resulted in a composition of digitally simulated light, reflections, materiality and color. Ruff compares this change in the perception of objects and reality, caused by the reduction of the visible, with Plato’s allegory of the cave. The question of how we perceive and how much illusionism is caused by photography thus constitutes a fundamental aspect of his work.