Mark Ruwedel Mark Ruwedel: Pictures of Hell

ISBN 13: 9780970386038

Mark Ruwedel: Pictures of Hell

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9780970386038: Mark Ruwedel: Pictures of Hell
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Devils Canyon, Hells Half Acre, Dirty Devil River: photographer Mark Ruwedel visited all of these places and more, while creating the series Pictures of Hell. This book is the culmination of the journey he began in 1995, and brings together virtually every photographic image in the artist s brilliant interpretation of the American West. This interpretation focuses on sites and places with the word hell or devil or some variation thereof in their names.

Place names evoking Satan and his dominion were imposed on the arid Western landscape by Euro-American explorers and settlers, who considered it desolate wilderness, cursed, populated with heathens and demons. By naming them, Euro-Americans symbolically took possession of these sites, denying the existence of indigenous cultures. These place names may also suggest the frustrations or whimsical humor of the nominators.

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About the Author:

Ruwedel is inspired by the 19th-century
photographers whose photo albums
revealed the glories of the West. He
differs from those earlier
photographers, however, in that his view
of the landscape is not uncritical. Rather,
in Pictures of Hell, he layers history with a
contemporary investigation of technology,
anthropology and colonization.

Review:

Ruwedel’s austere, restrained images embrace the emptiness against which the American ethos is posed; they set the hubris that defines the frontier mentality against the visible remains of the longer histories that anticipated it. (Eugenie Shinkle American Suburb)

Steidl beautifully translates the lush tonality and tactile quality of his black-and-white (and occasional color) photographs to the printed page, employing a straightforward layout that echoes the work’s minimal aesthetic. Presented individually and in chronological order, Ruwedel’s projects become more resonant when viewed within the context of his vast and tightly coherent oeuvre, marked by consistent formal, aesthetic and conceptual interests. (Allie Haeusslein Photo-Eye Blog)

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9783869309286: Mark Ruwedel

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ISBN 10:  3869309288 ISBN 13:  9783869309286
Publisher: Steidl/Scotiabank, 2015
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