Tomáš Ruller

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Tomáš Ruller (1957, Brno) is active primarily in the fields of action art and new media. He is also an organizer of numerous cultural events and a university teacher. In 1976-1982, Ruller studied sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. His first artistic performances date to the first half of the 1970s, and in the early 1980s he became one of the first Czech artists to systematically work with new media and video art. Today, Ruller consciously combines these two modern artistic disciplines, which he also confronts with classical working methods – sculpture, object art, installation art, painting, and photography – in order to create original hybrid forms of artistic presentation.

Ruller initiated or participated in numerous important underground art exhibits and festivals such as Malechov (1980 and 1981), Lesser Town Courtyards (Prague, 1981), A Meeting in the Courtyards (Prague, 1982), and Chmelnice (Mutějovice, 1983). He co-founded the European movement for performance art School of Attention / East-West Project (1983) and the related Black Market (1986), and also organized the movement’s Prague meetings (Open Situation, 1989 and 2007). After 1989, he exhibited and presented his performance pieces in most European countries and also in Israel, Canada, Japan, the USA (New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, etc.), Mexico, China, and elsewhere. Ruller’s name and activities have long been associated with international figures of performance art such as Chris Burden, Marina Abramović, Stelarc, and ORLAN, as well as with representatives of the new media scene such as Steina and Woody Vasulka and Van Gogh TV. Since 1994, Tomáš Ruller has headed the Video-Multimedia-Performance Institute at Brno University of Technology’s Faculty of Fine Arts, of which he was the dean from 1998 to 2000. He lives and works in Brno, Prague, and on the road. (2018)

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