Dr Ruth Pelzer-Montada is an artist and scholar with a particular interest in print media. She holds a PhD in art practice, a BA(hons) in Painting from ECA and an undergraduate and postgraduate degree in German Literature and Political Science from the University of Heidelberg. She has been teaching Visual Culture and historical and critical studies at ECA and other Scottish art colleges while pursuing her research through both artistic projects and writing. Her work has been exhibited in Scotland and abroad. Her writing has appeared in international peer-reviewed journals and conference publications and online. Her anthology Perspectives on contemporary printmaking. Critical writing since 1986 is published by Manchester University Press.
Ruth is external examiner for print media at the Royal College of Art, London (2016-18).
Between 2010-2012 she acted as external examiner for Printmaking at National College of Art and Design, Dublin.
From 2004 to 2007 Ruth was an elected member of the Council of the Scottish Society of Artists (SSA).
As a lecturer at ECA and other art colleges, Ruth has taught a wide range of art and design-related subjects and currently teaches across all the undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the School of Art. She is course organiser of the Second Year Visual Culture course Art Now. Practices, theories and institutionswhich – in addition to students in the School of Art ─ is attended by students from across the university. Specialist undergraduate courses developed by Ruth include the history and theory of photography; postmodern, postcolonial and identity theories in relation to art and, more recently, narrative in contemporary art.
The juncture of art practice and visual culture discourses are at the centre of Ruth’s research. Her teaching and research are closely intertwined. Since 1998 her artistic practice has involved printmaking and installation. Her critical and theoretical concerns in turn have been informed by her artistic practice. The notion of ‘repetition as difference’ serves as a practical and poetic metaphor for this interweaving of a multi-dimensionally understood ‘practice’ and ‘theory’ relationship. Ruth is particularly interested in contributing to the development of a critical discourse on print media in the context of contemporary art.
In addition to developing her artistic practice and curatorial activity, Ruth has contributed to numerous international conferences and peer-reviewed as well as subject-specific publications, such as Art Journal, Visual Culture in Britain, Print Quarterly, IMPACT Conference Proceedings and Art in Print. She has also written catalogue essays and gallery texts for artists. Her anthology of critical writing, Perspectives on contemporary printmaking, the first of its kind, is published by Manchester University Press.
Ruth's academic writing and art criticism have explored a range of concepts and themes affiliated with contemporary cultural and aesthetic practices, especially in relation to prints/printmaking. These include:
notions of ‘craft’, ‘technology’, ‘technique’;
discursivity, citationality and performativity;
haptics and surface;
‘screen’, ‘skin’ and the ‘imprint’;
multi-and/or intermedial practices;
the sonorous quality of visual art;
the material aesthetic of paper;
drawing and printmaking;
translation and copy;
print and narrative;
printmaking and the problematics of vision in photography;
changing notions of the frame in contemporary art and print
the ‘post-productive’ aspect of arts-based research.