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Sleeping by the Mississippi.
Photographs by Alec Soth. Text by Anne Wilkes Tucker and Patricia Hampl.
Steidl, Gottingen, Germany, 2004. 120 pp., 46 color illustrations, 11½x11".

Publisher's Description

A gorgeous copy of the true FIRST EDITION (yellow, cloth-covered boards, no dust jacket as issued). VERY FINE.

"Alec Soth's series of color prints explores one of the underlying geographic and identity assumptions that has shaped the American experience. He does so in a manner that projects a confidence and restraint. The result is a body of work that is both compelling and conceptually relevant." — Tim Wride, Associate Curator of Photography at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

"Alec Soth startles the sleepers along the Mississippi for a brief but profound moment; they open their eyes to his camera just long enough to reveal the immemorial, often dreamless, sometimes hopelessly trashy quality of their sleep, then sink back into the mud of their impecunious marginality. Alec Soth's visual journey has the decency (or affection) to disturb none of his subjects, though he disturbed me, a viewer, plenty." — Andrei Codrescu, author of It Was Today: New Poems

"Alec Soth is clearly working within and expanding on the tradition of the lyrical documentary which his photographs so clearly honor and advance. I know of no other photographer in his age group who surpasses his eloquence and poignant sense of place. His mastery of the medium has always been notable, and his eye for the telling nuance, gesture and inflection exceptional." — Ted Hartwell, Curator of Photography, Minneapolis Institute of Arts

"Alec Soth has a wonderful and terrifying eye. We’ve all seen gritty documentary photography, but no one has ever seen anything like his work! It’s gritty for sure, but it’s beautiful–really beautiful. With most documentary photography, you look at it, sigh, and pass on, but Soth’s work keeps pulling you back to look again because he composes with the skill of the greatest of photographic artists; he’s unafraid of humor and irony, which are impossible to leave out of any authentic American vision; and he uses color as an integral part of his composition–and that is not to say he photographs in color, which is all most color photographers do, but that his colors are as important as the objects, the people, and the things he captures. He is a brilliant new talent and Sleeping by the Mississippi is an important book." John Wood, Editor 21st: The Journal of Contemporary Photography

"The title, Sleeping by the Mississippi, alludes to the recurrence of beds, a symbol found throughout Soth's work. As he makes his way South along the Mississippi River, Soth show us the bed used by a young Charles Lindberg, photographed at his childhood home in Little Falls, Minnesota. We see the Reverend and Margaret's bedroom, plastered with snapshots, in Vicksburg, and Sunshine, a smug grin on her face, leaning back on what appears to be a hotel bed in Memphis. If anything at all, this is a group of images about place and their inhabitants. There is no story, per se, but rather a series of unconnected dots, placed before the viewer humbly and unapologetically. Soth's working method is meticulous and methodical, as dictated by the 8"x10" view camera he uses, and this reflects an inner methodology based in quiet, steady human relationships, abundantly evident here." — photo-eye, 2004

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