Oddyssey: The Billiad

Title: Oddyssey: The Billiad

Photographer/s: Bill Westheimer

Date of publication: 2009

Place of publication: West Orange, NJ

Dimensions: 8.25″ x 8.25″ x ..25″

Edition size: POD

Type of binding: softbound, perfect binding

Number of pages: 64

Type of paper: matte

Number of pictures: 44

Type of printing: POD

Printer: Createspace.com

Publisher: Petey Pie Press

Designer: Bill Westheimer

Language: English

ISBN: 978-0-98441007-2-9

Category: Monograph

Price: $15.95

Summary: There are nearly one hundred towns in Ohio which bear the names of foreign places. Each name reflects the dreams and aspirations of the founders of that small community in an unfamiliar environment that they were making their home. These names reflect the ambitions of people who were dissatisfied enough with their past to change it, yet optimistic and hopeful enough to make plans for their future. Still, each town’s resemblance to its namesake may be difficult to discern because today’s reality does not conform to yesterday’s dreams and expectations.When the Ohio country was settled at the end of the Revolutionary War, the immigrants and the frontiersmen who colonized the wilderness were people with grand ideas and aspirations, an indomitable spirit and a desire to make a better future and a willingness to overcome challenging, awesome odds. These adventurous spirits were dreaming of better lives possible now that the Union was free.

Today these towns with foreign names form a microcosm of modern life in America and the world: a portrait of human ambitions and aspirations tempered by the realities of today’s world. These are people living in a middle ground between where they find themselves and those dwellings of dreams. Each of these places in Ohio and the world has something significant to commend it: some meaningful phenomenon which makes it important. That event, that person or place may at first seem to be only a minor footnote to a trivial event in the grand scale of the world. But in reality it looms large in the lives of the vital people of the world in Ohio and symbolically in the world beyond. “The stories that we tell… about [Ohio]… are stories that could be told about almost any settlement in the Northwest Territory. They are stories of hardships overcome by courage and resourcefulness – of grief, deprivation, hard work, and suffering, but somehow, even more, about the indomitable spirit, the willingness to move ahead, the reason for living that our ancestors had, and that we all seek.” From Stories That We Tell Our Children About Iberia [Ohio].

Oddyssey is a quirky photo journal of one man’s trip around the world – without leaving Ohio. With humor and style the traveler visits towns from Moscow to Mesopotamia, Congo to Calcutta, Aberdeen to York by way of Utopia and scores of other unlikely places all found in America’s heartland. As foreign as the place names are, the towns are distinctly American. The photographs connect mid-America with the lar

Date and place of birth of photographer/s: 1952 Cincinnati, OH

Website: http://www.billwest.com

Book link: http://www.oddyssey.us

Donated by: Bill Westheimer

Related books:

Manual: The Personalities of Hands
Momento: Capturing moments and memories
Visions In The Dark - Camera Obscura

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Exhibition Catalog for “A Survey of Documentary Styles in Early 21st Century Photobooks”

More about the exhibition here, here and here.
Order the book here.
Thank you to Patrick Aguilar of Owl & Tiger Books who did such an outstanding job designing the iPL’s first exhibition catalog!

“…the Indie Photobook Library is fast becoming one of Washington’s more interesting small collections.” – Mark Jenkins, Washington Post Express, November 9, 2011

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