Crossing the Merrimack
The southernmost bridge across the Merrimack River is 5 miles from my home; the northernmost crossing, at the Veterans Memorial Bridge in Boscawen, NH, is 73.4 miles from my driveway. There are 43 crossings in between and in April 2015 I decided to make photographs of them all. There would be photographs from both the eastern and western shores, from below the bridge, and, when possible, images of the river seen from the bridge. Defining the project in these procedural terms was a simple self-management stratagem, as my preference when making landscape photographs has been to approach each project with an empty mind, allowing the world to surprise and seduce me, and to teach me unforeseen lessons.
This project is shaped by several rivulets of influence, some flowing from personal history, some from the influence of artists I have admired, and some from prior photographic projects. I have for most of my life, sought out the water as a place to live near, to play in, and to contemplate. Bridges and rivers play prominent roles in the history of landscape art, and an emerging interest in 19th century Japanese prints, especially those of Hiroshige and Hokusai, has brought me closer to that tradition. Previous work has centered on how bodies of water define urban landscapes or, more generally, the intersection of human intention and geological structure and river crossings are a very manifest embodiment of human intention.
Jurgen Kedesdy was born in Germany, raised on the New Jersey shore, and studied at Tufts University, the University of Chicago and SUNY Stony Brook. He has had several previous careers, most prominently those of English Instructor and Pediatric Psychologist. Kedesdy has made photographs with some degree of seriousness since high school and his commitment to the art of photography has intensified over the last decade. His primary interest lies in exploring the architecture of human intention as it transforms and accommodates natural structures. Kedesdy has a special interest in how bodies of water present and are experienced in urban environments. One current project explores the various bridges and crossings of the Merrimack River as it flows through New Hampshire and Massachusetts to its Atlantic destination. Kedesdy’s work has been selected for juried exhibitions and shown in several New England galleries, including the Brush Gallery in Lowell, MA, The New Hampshire Institute of Art, and the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, MA. He lives with his wife and rescue cat on a tidal river north of Boston.
Contact Jurgen Kedesdy