Questionnaire: Beatrix Ruf

Q. What should stay the same? A. Curiosity, generosity, care.

Otto Dix, Krieg und Frieden (War and Peace), 1960. Courtesy: Städtisches Kunstmuseum Singen

What was the first piece of art that really mattered to you?

Otto Dix made a wall painting titled Krieg und Frieden (War and Peace, 1960) in the town hall of Singen, my hometown, which was impressive. But, Andy Warhol’s 1964 ‘Flower’ series – which I first encountered in the early 1970s, when an unconventional substitute teacher brought reproductions to school – were really exciting.

If you could live with only one piece of art what would it be?

An embedded one: Marcel Duchamp’s Door, 11 rue Larrey (1927), a corridor by Bruce Nauman (Live-Taped Video Corridor, 1970), wallpaper by General Idea (AIDS, Wallpaper, 1988), a sink by Robert Gober (‘Untitled’, 1983–86), a ceiling by Liam Gillick (Conciliation Platform, 1997), plugs by Philippe Parreno (‘AC/DC Snakes’, 1995–2010). Also, one of Sarah Lucas’s toilets (‘The Old In Out’, 1998), a John Baldessari sofa (Ear Sofa, 2009), Rosemarie Trockel’s knitted pictures (1984–ongoing), a Rirkrit Tiravanija kitchen (Untitled, Free, 1992) and a work by Richard Artschwager.

What do you wish you knew?

How developments in quantum theory will affect thinking and society. 

What is your favourite title of an artwork?

Tiravanija’s ‘Untitled (The Days of This Society Is Numbered)’ (2007–ongoing). 

What should stay the same?

Curiosity, generosity, care.

What music are you listening to?

Internet radio – all countries, all styles – and many podcasts.

What are you reading?

News, news, news, in all areas and disciplines, and everything related to artists I am currently collaborating with, including Art&Technology, Ed Atkins, General Idea, Anne Imhof and Yayoi Kusama.

This article first appeared in frieze issue 209

Beatrix Ruf is a curator based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. She is currently a guest curator at Fondation Beyeler, Basel, Switzerland, and serves as a board member and creative advisor for a range of foundations in Europe. She is a collaborator on strategies and programmes at the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia.

Issue 209

First published in Issue 209

March 2020

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