“The scene seems to last forever – a caravaggesque rendering of some minor myth, in which the horror and splendor supersede the particulars of the obscure narrative”
—Nicholas Muellner, No Such Place
Ron Jude’s new book, Lick Creek Line, extends and amplifies his ongoing fascination with the vagaries of photographic empiricism, and the gray area between documentation and fiction. In a sequential narrative punctuated by contrasting moments of violence and beauty, Jude follows the rambling journey of a fur trapper, methodically checking his trap line in a remote area of Idaho in the Western United States. Through converging pictures of landscapes, architecture, an encroaching resort community, and the solitary, secretive process of trapping pine marten for their pelts, Lick Creek Line underscores the murky and culturally arbitrary nature of moral critique.
With an undercurrent of mystery and melancholy that echoes Jude’s previous two books about his childhood home of Central Idaho, Lick Creek Line serves as the lynchpin in a multi-faceted, three-part look at the incomprehensibility of self and place through photographic narrative. While Alpine Star functioned as a fictitious sociological archive, and Emmett explored the muddy waters of memory and autobiography, Lick Creek Line finds its tenor through the sleight-of-hand structure of a traditional photo essay.