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Initiated with his small-format, color works «Interiors» (beginning 1979), in individual groups of works Ruff explores the depths of different genres and uses of photography reflecting on its medial form. From 1981 onward he creates a series of portraits whose staging recalls the identification process commonly used by police. Beginning 1987 he makes monochromatic photographs of industrial grounds and housing complexes. In some of these groups of works Ruff reaches back for existing material («Newspaper Photos,» «Stars,» «Poster», «Nudes»), in others for special photographic processes such as stereo photography, the infra-red exposure (as in «Nachtbilder»), and the composite-image camera (as in «Andere Porträts»). Since the 1990s he increasingly makes use of digital technologies as well.