Mark Ruwedel’s “River Run Through It”

Review in Collector Daily

There is a wonderful review of Mark Ruwedel’s book “River Run Through It” (MACK) by Loring Knoblauch in Collector Daily.

“As we step further into the 21st century, and in particular continue to wrestle with the realities of pervasive climate change, we are also being forced to ask ourselves hard questions about what it means to be an American landscape photographer in this new age. What are the “new” or changing subjects that should now be photographed? What vantage point or perspective should be applied to what we “find” out there in the “wild”? And what stories (or histories) of the land need to be told?

Ruwedel’s multi-part portrait of the river starts in the dry headwaters of the river (in the Big Tujunga Wash), wanders through the Sepulveda Basin, shoots through the Glendale Narrows, takes detours to several tributaries, and finally finds its way to the estuary in Long Beach at the coast. And at each point along that journey, Ruwedel documents the subtle differences in the river environment, each a distinct facet of a more layered ecological personality

In the end, Ruwedel seems to have taken the position of a concerned witness, documenting the truths of what is largely hidden, and encouraging us to draw our own conclusions. It’s a vantage point that allows for a heady and intentional mix of both admiration of natural beauty and critical thinking, in a sense, finding a middle ground between the artist’s many historical influences. Perhaps Ruwedel has even crafted for himself a new (and likely continuously evolving) definition of an American landscape photographer, one who actively takes on the 21st century failures of the hybrid landscape by balancing his instincts toward sensitivity and horror. At least in this first part of his epic project, Ruwedel seems to be saying that the river was not saved, but he also offers plenty of hints of nature’s undiminished resilience, which is where we might find a few points of forward looking hope.“ – Loring Knoblauch

Read the full review here.