Thomas Ruff: Maschinen (Machines)

For this series, Ruff acquired an archive of glass negatives from a 1930s machine and tool manufacturing company. The photographs had been intended for a sales catalogue in which large machines would be illustrated next to the tools they produced. The archive meticulously documents the different stages involved in preparing the products for the catalogue. Caroline Flosdorff notes of the series: “The reconstruction of the individual processes of the old produce photographs [is what] interests Ruff... Working at the computer screen, Ruff proceeds like a detective to reconstruct the individual steps of producing the catalogue. It becomes evident that his photographic models made use of many other alterations, in addition to manual means, to free the motifs from their context: retouching produced polished shiny places on the metal; less important machine parts were removed entirely.”1

 

1 Caroline Flosdorff, “Machines for the Kestnerhalle,” in Thomas Ruff: Machines/Maschinen. Exh. cat. (Hannover: Kestner Gesellschaft, 2003), p. 13.

A chromogenic print by Thomas Ruff, titled Maschinen 0945, dated 2003.

Thomas Ruff

Maschinen 0945, 2003
Chromogenic print
55 1/2 x 44 inches (141 x 111.8 cm)
A photograph by Thomas Ruff, titled Maschinen 0946, dated 2003.

Thomas Ruff

Maschinen 0946, 2003
Chromogenic print with Diasec
59 x 76 3/4 inches (150 x 195 cm)
A chromogenic print with Diasec by Thomas Ruff, titled Maschinen 1027, dated 2003.

Thomas Ruff

Maschinen 1027, 2003
Chromogenic print with Diasec
57 x 44 1/2 inches (145 x 113 cm)
A Chromogenic print by Thomas Ruff, titled Maschinen 1411, dated 2003.

Thomas Ruff

Maschinen 1411, 2003
Chromogenic print
51 1/8 x 67 3/4 inches (130 x 172 cm)
A Chromogenic print by Thomas Ruff, titled Maschinen 1553, dated 2003.

Thomas Ruff

Maschinen 1553, 2003
Chromogenic print
57.87 x 44.49 inches (147 x 113 cm)
A Chromogenic print with Diasec by Thomas Ruff, titled Maschinen 3346, dated 2003.

Thomas Ruff

Maschinen 3346, 2003
Chromogenic print with Diasec
41.73 x 33.86 inches (106 x 86 cm)

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