In Tableaux russes, Ruff continues his exploration of propaganda photography started with the series Tableaux chinois in 2019. Taking his point of departure in photographs featured in Soviet propaganda magazines including USSR in Construction, published between 1930 and 1949, and Soviet Union from the 1950s, the artist digitally manipulates the images, adding visible pixelation and saturated color. The resulting large-format works appear both outdated and contemporary, which in turn allows viewers to approach the motifs independent of historical context. Stylistic differences between the photographs testify to the intended meaning of the source imagery: while the earlier magazine often included works by artists including Alexander Rodchenko, El Lissitzky, and Varvara Stepanova, the later version excluded Constructivist imagery, which it denounced as a bourgeois art form. The works in the series also stand out against their counterparts in Tableaux chinois, which in comparison employ softer, more overtly romanticized settings.