Thomas Ruff – Dpb. 01, 2000

Thomas Ruff – Dpb. 01, 2000
Photograph | C-Print
185 x 235 cm


Thomas Ruff ‘s work takes photography as a medium with which to explore a variety of issues concerning the visual realm. First, he is interested in photography as a technique, as a mechanism; second, he is interested in the image, aware as he is of its presence and importance in our societies, and third, his work engages with how seeing operates, how we perceive and by way of which models.

For the work Dpb. 01 he photographed the Pavilion that Mies van der Rohe designed to represent Germany at the Barcelona World’s Fair of 1929. The photograph was done to commission. In 1998, Julian Heynen was preparing to reopen Haus Lange and Haus Esters in Krefeld after their renovation. The two houses, built by Mies van der Rohe between 1927 and 1930, had recently been converted into museums for the exhibition of contemporary art. To celebrate the opening of these spaces, Heynen invited Ruff to do a series of works on buildings by the architect, including the two Krefeld houses together with other closely contemporary buildings such as the Barcelona Pavilion (1929) and Villa Tugendhat at Brno (1930). Thomas Ruff already had experience of photographing architecture for some of his earlier series and one of the challenges he set himself in considering this new project was that he could make Mies’s architecture appear in a different way than it had been presented in the past.