Jpeg NY 15

Thomas Ruff

30 January 2007

Photo, 263 x 188 cm

This colour photo is dated in 2007, the year in which Thomas Ruff concluded his series on Jpegs, a suite of works that can be traced back to 2001 when Ruff happened to be in New York at the time of 9/11 and took lots of photos which turned out to be exposed, which in turn led him to search for low-res images on Internet and to play with them, amplifying them and bringing about a disruption in meaning and re-stylisation of an image of horror through distance.
By means of amplifying this low resolution image, the underlying pixel structure that is its reality on an atomic level emerges, thus surfacing the fiction sustaining reality and the level of abstraction brought to the fore by the use of technology.
In this sense, Ruff’s reflection examines the ambiguity in any photographic rendering of reality. Is the image beautiful or terrible, objective or subjective, real or fictitious? Jpeg NY 15 is all things at once: a crime and a beautiful landscape taken from the air, a visual sign where the amplification of an image seen a thousand times before brings out the contradictions like a window on the truth.

©Abel H. Pozuelo
Acknowledgments: CA2M, Madrid