ROBERT RUTÖD / BOOK - LESS IS MORE
05 January 2012


"I feel more affinity to anarchy and contradiction than to reason and sense. For that hundredth of a second, the protagonists in my photographs are my comrades-in-arms." Born in Vienna, lives in Austria. Photographer and filmmaker. Made numerous short feature films with screenings worldwide. Early paintings and photographic work are in private collections. Widely exhibited in the U.S. and Europe.

Less Is More // BOOK

Some places are time, some space, some in a certain way liberated from time and space. Ephemeral and at the same time present – reduced to the one single moment and yet present in their entire spectrum, vibrancy and abundance. Timeless moments which are endowed with perpetuity in the photographic series Less Is More.

Robert Rutoed plays with the original significance of the binomial pair as well as with possible and impossible variations: “If less is more, maybe nothing is everything.” In other words: Everything is a question of perspective, the preference of visual angle, the self-styled point of view. Clichés shift into the centre of interest, mutate into a motif, decapitate the reality to an occasionally bizarre setting.

Magic and disenchantment are in close contact with transience, perpetuity and time. Images which do not remain in the present, but at the same time focus on (ostensible) imperfection as point of departure and indirect goal. Theme and variation in 47 photographic “beats”.

Less Is More can be understood in one way as a (visual) archive: Details reveal geographical data, provide information about time of the year, evince a special way of life or quite deliberately mislead. In the sense as a landscape never changes the location, yet the accents internally shift – namely image for image.

At one point it is the baton of the conductor who composes a line in the rainy space, then concentric light reflections of dubious origin or the balancing act between shoe sole, bank interest and ball. Colourful autumn foliage also silently comes and goes like question and answer for the meaning and absurdity of enigmatically wired “notes in the kerbstone”. Parallel to the alleviative standing parade of the “Magnificent Seven”, religious and traffic-related symbolism coalesces in the course of a procession, one encounters panic-stricken (final) adventure, memories pickled in vinegar or hears barking from an open bosom. Everything seems nevertheless recorded precisely accurate at the right point in time as if continuously in the process of motion. In light of this abrogation of seemingly contrary conditions, even the image of the Madonna can be duplicated as an echo of an imaginary or perhaps also never imagined thought.

Robert Rutoed never intervenes in the situations which he comes across, but always preserves the magic of the moment. Every image relates a very personal story and is history.


Less Is More (Paperback, also available as Hardvover)
Photographs by Robert Rutoed
Text by Christine Dobretsberger
Paperback, 104 pages, 47 color-illustrations
Languages: English, German, French
17x22 cm, November 2010, ISBN 978-3-8370-3549-0

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