Thomas Ruff

M.d.p.n. 32

Date: 2003

Technique: C-print on Diasec

Dimensions: 186 x 297 cm.

Edition: 3/5

Es Baluard Museu d'Art Modern i Contemporani de Palma

Not on display

In 1929 the architect Luigi Consenza (Naples, 1905-1984), shortly after graduating as a civil engineer, reflected on his city, Naples, and described the need to make a new, modern fish market to replace the grubby “pietra del pesce” in Via Marina. In his opinion, the city had no patterns to follow but only examples to imitate, which is why he decided to search for solutions in other cities like Venice, Milan, Hamburg, Marseille...Construction on the new Naples fish market designed by Consenza started that same year, and lasted until 1934, and it is seen as the manifesto of the city’s rationalist architecture.

In 2002 Thomas Ruff began a project focussed on this old market. He visited it and gathered documentation on the building and obtained photographs from the period from Consenza’s archive. He saw how characteristic elements like the vault – made with a structure of iron arches fixed to the walls, on which a false ceiling was suspended, bringing to mind a plane fuselage –have almost vanished. In the series “M.d.p.n.”, Ruff photographs the interior and exterior of the building in its current state and uses digital techniques to “restore” its original design in photographs from the era which were previously digitalized and on which he applies colour to give them an aura of contemporaneity. In M.d.p.n. 32, he concentrates on the inside of the market, a wide open space where the most outstanding element is the iron structure that runs through it all the way to the other end. Ruff deceives our perception in this work using symmetry: he takes two frontal shots directed towards the two ends of the long room and superimposes them, duplicating the number of elements we can see such as the lamps, for example.

Artist biography