Negatives – starting from Thomas Ruff

Thomas Ruff states that he became interested in the negative after making photograms. For me it was the other way around.

A photogram is also a negative .

The disappearence of the negative as a tool of reproduction is also a time when it becomes a thing of interest in itself.

Ruff made his negatives from historical sepia toned positives, so the negative appears blue. Reversing the positive back into the original point of reproduction.

I’m interested in the materiality of the negative and also the general aesthetic qualities also discussed by Ruff.

Unfamiliar tonality, reversal etc.

to quote George Baker’s The Black Mirror – on Paul Sietsema. (October 158, Fall 2016) on the negative again.

“suspended between negative and positive, Degas’ between images body forth the negative as medium, middle space relay between photograph and object, camera and image. But in this ‘medium’ we find something medium specificity was never supposed to allow: the opening, through inversion, of photography to film, drawing, writing, even to sculpture ( as cast, double, ….it is this afterimage of the afterimage, this opening of the open image, that Sietsema has claimed in his play with the negative today.”

Not light and dark but opacity and transparency – the negative