Sleeping by the Mississippi by Alec Soth is one of the defining publications in the photobook era. First published in 2004, it was Soth's first book, and established him as one of the leading lights of contemporary photographic practice.
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 color photographs represent 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.
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 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.
Hardcover, 120 pages
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