Throughout his career, Ruwedel has tirelessly photographed the boundless landscapes of the American West, focusing on the relationship between the land and its inhabitants, as well as the traces of this interaction.
Westward stems from the author’s interest in the railway lines of the 19th and early 20th century, which once traversed the semi-deserted and uninhabited landscape of North America.
The project chronicles the past triumph of technology over what was perceived as hostile territory – land to be conquered – and explores the lust for possession and the struggle to create wealth and power at the heart of so-called ‘progress’.
The beautifully printed photographs document the excavations, tunnels and ‘scars’ left in the area by the long abandoned (and in some cases never completed) railways.
Westward is a quiet but biting elegy to the mythical land of the West and the foolish megalomania of human ambition.