The photographs of Robert Rutoed
appeared on my visual radar several years ago when I was introduced to his project, Less is More
. The images made an impression that kept his name and photographs in the forefront of my mental Rolodex – not an easy feat, as I look at a lot of images on a daily basis.
Robert is part of that wonderful European street shooter legacy that is so important in a world where technology keeps our heads down, where cell phones remove us from truly being engaged with each other. And it’s this heads-down mentality that disassociates our connections with a world rich with small dramas. We need Robert’s photographs to make us realize what we are missing, and allow the levity of his work to not only see ourselves with amusement, but to simply, see ourselves.
What Robert brings to the contemporary photographic dialogue is that intangible ability to see the world with a skewed lens – a lens that is compassionate and at the same time, unkind. It is a lens that is the stuff of operas and nightmares, comedies and slapstick. Robert finds that split second of humor or truth telling and that instant of social documentation or absurdity that makes us not only laugh at ourselves, but also laugh and feel embarrassed all at the same time. Or should I say, at The Right Time.
Robert has a new book, Right Time Right Place
, that releases this week, and I have the privilege of writing the foreword to this publication.
Robert was born in Vienna and is a photographer and filmmaker. He created numerous short feature films with screenings worldwide and his photographic work has been exhibited throughout Europe, the United States and Asia. Robert was recently the winner of the New York Photo Award 2012 in the category Fine Art. His books included: Less Is More (2009), grayscales, early b&w photographs (2010), Right Time Right Place (2012).
Right Time Right Place
Being at the right place at the right time is usually associated with happiness and success. But what happens when we are at the right place at the wrong time? Do we even know that this is the right place? And what if it turns out that it is the wrong place after all? But the right time!” – Whoever loses his orientation over this thought will get a feeling for Robert Rutöd’s latest pictures. The Vienna-born photographer wandered for five years through Europe and has proven to be a keen observer with an often tragicomic view: The blind man who finds orientation by putting his stick in a tram track, the helpless swan that finds itself frozen to the vast stretch of ice, or the amputee operator of a shooting range set up in a ruined building. It gets macabre with the portraits of the Pope, Hitler and Mussolini decorating the labels of wine bottles.