Meet Barbis Ruder, a performance and media artist currently residing in Vienna for 14 years. Recently, Barbis has moved her creative roots in a private office at Das Packhaus, now blessing us with her vibrant artistic energy in our coworking workspaces.
In our interview, Barbis shared insights into their artistic journey. With a background initially steeped in music, Barbis then transitioned to arts management before immersing in the world of media arts for the past decade. The motivation behind Barbis’ artistry is to create visuals that resonate with personally significant themes.
Barbis’ work is uniquely centred around the body. Specialising in performances tailored for theatres and art exhibition spaces. These performances delve into the concept of having a “haltung”. Exploring the various abstract positions the human body can take. Through this artistic lens, Barbis captures the essence of bodily expressions and their significance. Whether on stage or within exhibition spaces, Barbis Ruder’s work offers a thought-provoking exploration of the human form and its diverse range of positions.
The artistic process
“My creative process from the idea to the finished piece usually takes about a year. I start with drawings and a concept, then I apply for funding. I’m not selling that many pictures, but do bigger projects. Most art I do is funds based. Then after, for theatre pieces, I have a period of six weeks of rehearsal. This gives me time to develop a piece collaboratively with my colleagues in different workspaces. And when I do an exhibition piece, I often also invite people to collaborate with on building pieces, as a way of coworking.” (Ruder, Barbis. Personal Interview. 5 January 2024.)
“The hardest part is to make the decision what you do and then go for that. It’s always about taking a little bit of a risk.”
Art changes over time
When looking at Ruder’s earlier works, she was first very direct in doing solo pieces in front of people. The works were wild and experimental. Later she changed to more compositions for the body. “I’ve been levelling down my work more to the positions that we are in, figuratively and literally. So how we hold ourselves.” (Ruder, Barbis. Personal Interview. 5 January 2024.) We had the honour of seeing her works when visiting Barbis’ private office, you can also take a closer look at them from barbisruder.com. Barbis Ruder’s biggest inspiration came from the music videos of the 20th and 21st centuries, with MTV buzzing with artistic videos and pop culture.
Ruder’s favorite project
“My most fun and annoying project is about a social media influencer that’s called Influenca. And it’s my least and my most favorite project at the same time. It’s a character full of joy, but very, very annoying. It’s basically about over performing the craziness of the Internet. There was a lot of freedom with this project! But at the same time, it’s been so full of ideas that it’s been impossible to do everything.” (Ruder, Barbis. Personal Interview. 5 January 2024.)
Why Das Packhaus?
When discussing why Ruder chose to move to our coworking space, Das Packhaus, she told us she had a larger studio in the past, but it was further away and it tended to get lonely there. So she wanted to choose a place where she could see other people and be part of a colourful community. Barbis chose to rent a private office. To get there, she has to pass through a shared office area, adding a social aspect to having her own workspaces!
Ruder, Barbis. Personal Interview. 5 January 2024.