Read The Poetry of Elsewhere by Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa on The Great Leap Sideways.
Lick Creek Line extends and amplifies Ron Jude’s 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 linchpin 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.