Ron Jude: Other Nature
In his previous book, Alpine Star, photographer and publisher Ron Jude appropriated and recast a collection of his hometown newspaper photographs as a cryptically humorous meditation on the grey area between personal history and collective memory. Jude's latest series of photographs, Other Nature, adds a more intimate, diaristic strain to this line of inquiry. In this handsome volume, two separate sets of his own 4 x 5 color pictures (made between 2001 and 2008) combine to create a subtle and uncanny instance of what Jude has called the "slippery threshold of narrative" in still images. Drawing on the concerns of the New Topographics photographers, Jude's accounts of anonymous motel rooms and the stranger regions of the American landscape could, on first glance, be mistaken for an ecological critique. But as the exterior and interior details of these environments (floral patterns, wood grain, sunlight) begin to merge, interrupt and inform each other, the book shifts into a more abstract, subjective register, provoking reflections on photography, the visible world and the things hovering just outside our physical perception.