Mill River

Title: Mill River

Photographer/s: Joseph Gerhard

Date of publication: September 2011

Place of publication: New Haven, CT

Dimensions: 10.5″ x 10.5″ x .6″

Edition size: 200

Type of binding: Image Wrap, Hardcover

Number of pages: 115

Type of paper: Luster

Number of pictures: 95

Type of printing: Digital (Ingigo)

Printer: Acme Bookbinding, Boston, MA

Publisher: Manton Westwood Books (self-published)

Editor: Michelle Komie

Language: English

ISBN: 978-0-9834849-0-5

Category: Artist Book

Price: $60

Summary: One camera. One lens. One year. One mile of river. Mill River is an extended meditation on a specific place and time—the product of sustained looking and contemplation.

This section of the river is in part created by the run-off from the Eli Whitney Dam, built in 1860 to provide a reservoir for the city of New Haven and power for Eli Whitney’s factory, then located at the base of the dam. It is an area that would now be completely covered by a mile-long, four-lane off-ramp from the nearby interstate were it not for the efforts of a passionate, grass-roots campaign in the early 1960s that successfully stopped the project. Most fascinating to me is that while this section of river appears relatively unplanned and natural, it is very much a manmade artifact in the sense that the entire ecology of the area has been shaped—positively and negatively—by decisions made over the past 150 years.

During the past 15 years I’ve spent a lot of time walking in this area, observing the river from the paths along its banks—how it always appeared in small fragments, framed by branches, leaves, rocks, and mud. Its movement is usually so slow and still that the current exists almost as a negative presence—visible mostly in the shifting reflections of trees, branches, and sky. I became fascinated by the way the river seemed both integral to the landscape and barely there at the same time.

Date and place of birth of photographer/s: May 12, 1952: Providence, RI

Website: http://josephgerhard.com

Book link: http://millriverbook.com

Donated by: Joseph Gerhard

Related books:

Shutterclank Fall 2011 Photography Zine

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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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