Los Angeles: Landscapes of Four Ecologies, Volume 1
Mark Ruwedel has spent the last decade piecing together an epic photographic account of the natural environment of his hometown of Los Angeles.
In this first of four volumes, Ruwedel follows the Los Angeles River from Big Tujunga Wash to the Pacific Ocean. With his large- and medium-format black-and-white photographs, the result of a forensic photographer’s patience and accuracy, Ruwedel draws on the tradition of 19th-century photographer-cartographers such as Carleton Watkins and Timothy O’Sullivan, as well as that of the New Topographics of the 1970s.
The title of the Landscapes of Four Ecologies series recalls Reyner Baynam’s well-known research, Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies, which describes the city as “one of the ecological wonders of the modern world”.
The scale of this four-part project, the most ambitious so far undertaken by Ruwedel, is in itself an artistic statement: ‘When I say epic,’ Ruwedel explains, ‘I think of a project that is too big, with blurred boundaries, almost out of control.
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