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Alec Soth
From Here To There: Alec Soth's America
HC, 20,5 x 25,5 cm., 224 pp.
Hatje Cantz 2010

"The first thing that struck me about "From Here to There: Alec Soth?s America" was the cover. That?s a great cover. You probably can?t see it very well, but it is filled with all this information (or maybe rather ?information?) about the contents (for example, ?page 177 - Learn how to repel women? or ?page 137 - caves: Buy or rent??). You don?t see such covers very often on photobooks, the majority of which, as I noted ad nauseam before, tend to be rather conservative affairs. Needless to say, to talk about the cover is a bad way to start a photobook review, but bear with me, hopefully we?ll be getting somewhere. (...)

Regardless, with one exception (I?m a cat person, so I?m not missing it) "From Here to There: Alec Soth?s America" contains an overview of Soth?s photography, going back as far as the early 1990s, and arriving pretty much where we are today. I?m sure a lot of people will be excited to see pre-Mississippi work, done in b/w, and the other new project (besides ?Broken Manual?), ?Single Goth SeeksSame? is sure to be a thrill, too. In a longish essay, Siri Engberg (exhibion curator at Walker Art center) presents the history, the evolution of the work and thinking behind the work. In addition, there are essays by other writers (incl. Geoff Dyer), there is the aforementioned interview, plus selected samples from Soth?s first - and then abandoned - blog. Oh, and you get a little booklet entitled ?The Loneliest Man in Missouri,? in a little pouch at the very end of the book. (

About the show: "Famed photographer Alec Soth takes a dark tour of America. - Capsule review: Since the 2004 publication of Soth?s breakout book ?Sleeping by the Mississippi,? the Minneapolis-based photographer has become an international art star who has, fortunately, not pulled up his down-home roots. Through his affiliation with the Paris-based photo agency Magnum, he?s worked in China, Eastern Europe and across the United States. In his first museum retrospective, the Walker showcases more than 100 large-scale color photos from 1994 to the present, including iconic images from Soth?s ?Mississippi,? and ?Niagara? series, plus his recent ?Broken Manual? work tracking the lives of American loners and outcasts. (Mary Abbe)


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