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In Lago, Ron Jude returns to the California desert of his early childhood in search of his own identity. In a photobook of 54 photographs made between 2011 and 2014, he attempts to reconcile the vagaries of memory (and the uncertainty of looking) with our need to make narrative sense of things. Using a desolate desert lake as a theatrical backdrop, Jude meanders through the arid landscape of his youth, making note of everything from venomous spiders to discarded pornography.
If one considers these traces to be a coded language of some sort, Jude’s act of photographing and piecing them together becomes a form of cryptography – like a poetic archeology that, rather than attempting to arrive at something conclusive, looks for patterns and rhythms that create congruity out of the stuttering utterances of the visible world. According to Jude, “these harmonies, when we’re lucky enough to find them, are probably the closest we can get to discovering actual ‘meaning’ and grasping the potency of place.”
About the photographer:
Ron Jude was born in Los Angeles in 1965, grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and currently lives and works in Upstate New York. His photographs have been exhibited at venues such as the Photographers’ Gallery (London), the High Museum of Art (Atlanta), Proekt_Fabrika (Moscow) and Roth/Horowitz Gallery (New York), among others. His work is in numerous collections, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, George Eastman House, the New Orleans Museum of Art, and the Georgia Museum of Contemporary Art in Atlanta. Jude is the co-founder of A-Jump Books and the author of Alpine Star, Postcards (both with A-Jump Books, Ithaca, 2006), Other Nature (The Ice Plant, Los Angeles, 2008), Emmett (The Ice Plant, Los Angeles, 2010), Lick Creek Line (MACK, London, 2012), Executive Model (Libraryman, Stockholm, 2012), Fires (RAM/MoCP, Chicago, 2013), and Lost Home (Super Labo, Tokyo, 2013).
Published in September 2015 by Mack Books
55 colour plates
24.1 cm x 29.2 cm
Embossed and printed linen hardcover