Road to Reno
these are bits of notes written each night at the table in a motel room that was always in a different place but always looked the same.
Inge Moraths first trip across the United States followed a red grease-pencil line drawn by her traveling companion, Henri Cartier-Bresson, from New York through Gettysburg, Memphis, and Albuquerque to Reno. In 1960, the two were among 18 photojournalists commissioned by Magnum to document the Nevada set of Arthur Millers film The Misfits. The destination was a momentous one for Morath, both for her remarkable photographs on location as well as her initial encounter with Miller, whom she later married after his divorce from Marilyn Monroe. But it is Moraths documentation of the 18 days in traveling to the set, collected here in both photographs and written entries, that in its casualness as a travel diary begins to unfold her carefully observed, insightful, and compassionate approach to reportage.
The noises of men die slowly but as our car rolls over the continental division we know that the waters we will drink from now on will belong to rivers that in their turn belong to the Pacific and not anymore to our grey Atlantic and the noises of animals have taken over.
Traveling westward, Morath combines a foreigners awe of alien terrain with the curiosity and banality of small town life, offering glimpses into rather than encapsulations of her experience at each stop. As a journal, this series of images and text allows an insight into Moraths photojournalistic style that is difficult to parse in her portraiture, for which she is best known. This is the first publication of Moraths work to include her writing alongside her photographs.
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