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Book of the Week: A Pick by Melissa Catanese

Fires by Ron Jude
This week's Book of the Week pick comes from photobook editor and Spaces Corners co-founder Melissa Catanese. Catanese has selected the newest title from Ron Jude, Fires -- part exhibition catalogue, part self-contained work of art -- published by Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College in Chicago.

"Ron Jude’s newest book, Fires, is a great example of my favorite type of photobook - one that invites collaboration between the author, the reader and its content. Fires poetically shuffles Jude’s three seemingly disparate projects (Alpine Star, emmett, and Lick Creek Line), including even a few outtakes from the original books. Its loose bound pages imply that meaning is not fixed and encourages the reader to engage both physically as well as psychologically. He teases us with the illusion of meaning, leaving us to interpret his use of representation, visual repetition and emotional tension for our own narratives. A strange multiplicity of meaning, weird dreamlike humor, and the implied nightmares lurking on television become palpable as the author seems to quite literally be asking us to channel our own elusive demons. To walk along Jude’s mysterious path through Idaho’s dark wilderness requires an openness and desire to allow the flow of facts to be overshadowed by the intangible." -- Melissa Catanese

Page spreads from Fires

Melissa Catanese lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and is the author of Dive Dark Dream Slow published by The Ice Plant in 2012. She is the co-founder of Spaces Corners, an artist-run photobook shop and project space. Catanese’s books can be found in library collections throughout the US and abroad, including the Museum of Modern Art Library and Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography Library. Her photographs are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago.

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