When I was in Paris years ago I was lucky that there was a survey of Alec Soth’s photos at the Jeu de Paume. It was a great find for me. This photo, from his first monograph, Sleeping by the Mississippi, reminds me of the shot of Jimmy Stewart in Vertigo as he stands at the belltower above Kim Novak.
I understand the impulse of the recluse. I have seen myself camped out far from others, though since leaving Canada that somewhere has become tropical – screw that lone cabin in snow heavy woods, I’ll take the tropics. Soth’s portraits frequently got to that desire. Now, he is pursuing those that retreat.
This is a trailer for what I take to be a documentary about Soth’s project. I love to watch how great portraitists work, particularly in large format, and I await the book.
Somewhere to disappear
Originally posted May 12, 2011