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Sleeping by the Mississippi by Alec Soth is one of the defining publications in the photobook era. First published by Steidl in 2004, it was Soth’s first book, sold through three editions, and established him as one of the leading lights of contemporary photographic practice. This MACK edition launches to coincide with the first exhibition in London dedicated to the series at Beetles+Huxley gallery, and includes two new photographs that were not included in the previous versions of the book.
Evolving from a series of road trips along the Mississippi River, Sleeping by the Mississippi captures America’s iconic yet oft-neglected ‘third coast’. Soth’s richly descriptive, large-format colour photographs present an eclectic mix of individuals, landscapes, and interiors. Sensuous in detail and raw in subject, Sleeping by the Mississippi elicits a consistent mood of loneliness, longing, and reverie. ‘In the book’s 46 ruthlessly edited pictures’, writes Anne Wilkes Tucker in the original essay published in the book, ‘Soth alludes to illness, procreation, race, crime, learning, art, music, death, religion, redemption, politics, and cheap sex.’
Like Robert Frank’s classic The Americans, Sleeping by the Mississippi merges a documentary style with poetic sensibility. The Mississippi is less the subject of the book than its organizing structure. Not bound by a rigid concept or ideology, the series is created out of a quintessentially American spirit of wanderlust. Thirteen years since the book was first published, the artist’s lyrical view has undoubtedly acquired a nuanced significance – one in which hope, fear, desire and regret coalesce in the evocative journey along this mythic river.
Alec Soth (b. 1969) is a photographer born and based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He has published over twenty-five books including Sleeping by the Mississippi (2004), NIAGARA (2006), Broken Manual (2010) and Songbook (2015). Soth has had over fifty solo exhibitions including survey shows organized by Jeu de Paume in Paris (2008), the Walker Art Center in Minnesota (2010), Media Space in London (2015) and FotoMuseum in Antwerp (2017). Soth has been the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, including the Guggenheim Fellowship (2013). In 2008, Soth created Little Brown Mushroom, a multi-media enterprise focused on visual storytelling. Soth is represented by Sean Kelly in New York, Weinstein Gallery in Minneapolis, Fraenkel Gallery in San Francisco, and is a member of Magnum Photos.
Alec Soth . Sleeping by the Mississippi
48 colour plates
28 cm x 27.5 cm
Printed linen hardback
In the follow-up to his critically acclaimed debut monograph Sleeping by the Mississippi, Alec Soth turned his eye to another iconic body of water, Niagara Falls. As with his photographs of the Mississippi, Soth’s pictures of Niagara are less about natural wonder than human desire. “I went to Niagara for the same reason as the honeymooners and suicide jumpers,” says Soth, “the relentless thunder of the Falls just calls for big passion.” Working over the course of two years on both the American and Canadian sides of the Falls using a large-format 8x10 camera, the photographs are rigorously composed and richly detailed. Soth depicts newlyweds and naked lovers, motel parking lots and pawn shop wedding rings. Throughout the book, Soth has interspersed a number of love letters from the subjects he photographed. We read about teenage crushes, workplace affairs, heartbreak and suicide. Oscar Wilde wrote of the Falls, “The sight of the stupendous waterfall must be one of the earliest, if not the keenest, disappointments in American married life.” In Soth’s Niagara, we see both the passion and the disappointment. His pictures are a remarkable portrayal of modern love and it’s aftermath.
Alec Soth (b. 1969) is a photographer born and based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He has published over twenty-five books including Sleeping by the Mississippi (2004), NIAGARA (2006) Broken Manual (2010) and Songbook (2015). Soth has had over fifty solo exhibitions including survey shows organized by Jeu de Paume in Paris (2008), the Walker Art Center in Minnesota (2010) and Media Space in London (2015). Soth has been the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, including the Guggenheim Fellowship (2013). In 2008, Soth created Little Brown Mushroom, a multi-media enterprise focused on visual storytelling. Soth is represented by Sean Kelly in New York, Weinstein Gallery in Minneapolis, Fraenkel Gallery in San Francisco, LOOCK Galerie in Berlin and is a member of Magnum Photos.
Alec Soth . Niagara
44 colour plates
27.5 cm x 32 cm
Faux leather bound hardback with tipped in images
Publication date: September 2018
Immediately after Zuma I made some rather straightforward photographs of the abandoned MGM Studios New York City back lot, in Culver City, Los Angeles.
These were in black and white. I then decided to try something entirely different and around 1980
I started a body of work about things you can’t photograph: Gravity, Magnetism, which way water drains, and the things I see when I press my eyes with the palms of my hands.
All of these images required the construction of some kind of visual metaphor.
[…] At the same time, I was switching from color negative that I was using for Zuma to large format color transparency. I had become aware that the early C-type color prints faded badly and was trying to use a new, more stable material. This was Cibachrome, which printed from transparencies. It was very industrial and artificial, with deep color saturation and contrast. It was a very flawed material for conventional images but with unique properties that I ended up embracing for the Chroma images.
CHROMA - JOHN DIVOLA
Edition of 800
Designed by Federico Carpani
Text/Interview by David Campany
In Picture Summer on Kodak Film, a poem by two sisters echoes across Fulford’s photographs, comprised of recurring motifs: time, test strips, refracted light, rainbow color, and distortion through shadows. Characters and places are repeated in kaleidoscopic compositions throughout this vivid sequence. Though taken across the world (in Canada, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nepal, Thailand, USA and Vietnam), these photographs come together to create a singular visual language: one bright, timeless, fictional place. A place imbued with the unexpected beauty, humor and meaning, that one has come to expect from Jason Fulford.
Picture Summer on Kodak Film . Jason Fulford
21.5 x 28 cm
Deeply affected by Donna Haraway’s writing, New Skin is Mayumi Hosokura’s proposition for a new way of thinking about identity, the body and desire. Its origin is one single, large-scale digital collage which Hosokura created using clippings from old gay magazines, statues, and found selfies, together with her own photographs — specifically choosing to use images of male figures only. Subsequently cut into 12 separate pieces the resulting fragments blur the boundaries between man and woman, human and animal, living and non-living beings; hybrid works that reimagine what it means to be human and which unsettle social conventions of desire. Drawing on feminist theory and current technological innovations, New Skin anticipates the future of the body in a time of advancing digital and bio-technologies.
New Skin . Mayumi Hosokura
Paperback with Japanese fold, printed with metallic inks
30 x 30 cm
"These images are arresting, seductive and sometimes risqué; liberating them from their original contexts, Gegisian has combined them into riotous collages, matching colour, form and subject to reveal some of their hidden logic" – Calvert Journal
In Handbook of the Spontaneous Other, Aikaterini Gegisian brings together a diverse range of found photographic material produced in Western Europe and the USA during the 1960s and 1970s. Composed of a series of 59 collages, the book playfully recontextualises images from popular culture that Gegisian has sourced — from pornographic magazines, tourist catalogues and National Geographic spreads — in order to subvert the way that the body, nature and pleasure have been represented in Western capitalist fantasies.
Divided into nine chapters that follow a metaphysical narrative of colour and sensation, the book ultimately seeks to locate a ‘spontaneous other’; a notion of the self and of pleasure that exists beyond the confines of popular culture and its dominant modes of representation.
Handbook of the Spontaneous Other . Aikaterini Gegisian
Embossed linen hardback
17 x 24 cm, 144 pages
Koldo Chamorro was a self-taught photographer from 1965 to 1972, when he was granted a Castellblach scholarship to study photography abroad, which allowed him to work with masters such as Ansel Adams, Brassaï or Ernst Haas, among others. He was a member of "Minority Photographers" in New York and, in Spain, one of the founders of the now-dissolved "Grupo Alabern", participating in the documentary photography movement.
Between the seventies and eighties, his work reflects the uses and customs of rural and urban society in the last stages of Franco's regime; Chamorro worked on the conservation of an imaginary that was on the verge of extinction. The series "The Iberian Saint Christo" places the symbol of Catholicism, the cross, as the absolute protagonist of a narrative that reveals the contradictions of a country that, on the one hand, yearned for the arrival of modernity and, on the other, remained anchored in an ancestral landscape.
Koldo Chamorro de Aranzadi (1949 - 2009) was a Spanish photographer. His work focuses on the documentation of social structures, from an anthropological and ethnographic point of view, showing his interest in Spanish rites and symbols, from bullfights to religious traditions.
Koldo Chamorro . El Santo Christo Ibérico
Format: 24 x 32 cm
Binding: hard cover
Edition: ENGlISH / Spanish
A volume that shows a series of unique images and marked a milestone in Spanish documentary photography
Zambia 1964, the rather eccentric school teacher Edward Makuka Nkoloso single-handedly started a space program to put the first African on the moon, thereby joining the space race between the Sovjet Union and the United States. Due to a lack of funding, both by the Zambian Government and the United Nations, and because one of the astronauts, a teenage girl, became pregnant, the short-lived program came to an early end. It is a lesser known part of the African history which unfortunately mostly has been dominated by wars, violence and hunger.
Half a century later Spanish photojournalist Christina de Middel used this story as the basis for her book Afronauts in which she rebuilds the story and adapts it to her personal imagery. De Middel shows us surreal pictures of a space program situated in Africa, containing elephants, colorful spacesuits and beautiful hairdresses. The result of this fictional documentation is funny, striking and even thought provoking. One might want to blame De Middel for mocking Nkoloso and ridiculing the idea of Africans on the moon. But according to De Middel: "The images are beautiful and the story is pleasant at a first level, but it is built on the fact that nobody believes that Africa will ever reach the moon. It hides a very subtle critique to our position towards the whole continent and our prejudices."
Cristina de MIddel .THE AFRONAUTS
Publisher: Self published
Size: 17 x 23 cm