The basketball player dunks, and dunks, and dunks again. The boxer punches, and punches, and punches again. Using advanced technology to transform and isolate moments from movies and televised sporting events, Paul Pfeiffer's work examines contemporary notions of racial and sexual identity and how we respond to the human body when it is placed in extreme situations such as ecstasy and pain. Pfeiffer's work also explores issues of time and the increasingly blurry distinction between reality and representation in everyday life. Recent installation pieces transfer mediated, image-based knowledge into physical spaces, with references to movies like The Amityville Horror. This catalog, the first significant publication devoted to Pfeiffer's work, includes full-color reproductions, biographical and bibliographic information, scholarly essays by MCA associate curator Dominic Molon and MIT List director Jane Farver, a discussion between Pfeiffer and renowned conceptual artist John Baldessari, and a text by Pfeiffer himself.
Paul Pfeiffer was born in Honolulu in 1966. His work was recently presented in solo exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and the Kunsthaus Glarus, Switzerland; as well as in important group exhibitions such as the 49th Venice Biennale; The Americans at the Barbican Centre, London; and Casino 2001 in Ghent, Belgium. Pfeiffer was also featured in the 2000 Whitney Biennial, where he received the first Bucksbaum Award as the most promising artist in the exhibition. He lives and works in New York City.
Thomas Ruff was born in 1958 in the small town of Zell am Harmersbach in the Black Forest of Germany, the fourth of six children and the son of a ceramist. In the early 70s he became interested in astronomy and then photography, acquiring first a small telescope and later his first camera. Introduced to minimal and conceptual art while a student at the Dusseldorf Art Academy, he was shocked to realize that the photographs he had been taking were only imitative and clichE. Soon after he was accepted into Bernd Becher's class, along with fellow students Candida H fer, Axel H tte and Thomas Struth. The Interiors series was begun in this academic context, the Portraits series a few years later. Ruff's first solo show took place at a Munich gallery in 1981. Within less than a decade, he was being included in international exhibitions such as the Aperto in Venice. One decade after that he was appointed professor at the Dusseldorf Art Academy and was the subject of a large-scale retrospective that toured Germany, Ireland, Norway, Italy, England and Portugal.