Soth’s Songbook

Soth’s Songbook

American photographer Alec Soth will show at the Science Museum in his first major UK exhibition.

The award-winning photographer will exhibit ‘Gathered Leaves’ in the Science Museum’s Media Space and will provide a unique insight into the past decade of his work. In addition Soth’s hotly tipped series ‘Songbook’ (2012-14) will make its debut.

Adelyn, Ash Wednesday, New Orleans, Louisiana, 2000, from Sleeping by the Mississippi © Alec Soth

Songbook follows Soth’s road trips across America and his quest to find human interaction in a society constantly defined by virtual social networks. The series aims to highlight the tension between American individualism and the ultimate desire to be united.

Cadillac Motel, 2005, from Niagara © Alec Soth

Soth is well respected for his narratives of longing and loss in Mississippi (2004), Niagara (2006) and Broken Manual (2010), and especially the cinematic feel he employs that draws the viewer to imagine the story behind the image.

His alternative style of photography looks at the themes of interaction, intimacy and celebration. Soth’s painfully shy youth may provide some explanation as to how he manages to document these emotions so well. Even in adulthood Soth claims to still feel nervous at times, stating on his website: “My own awkwardness comforts people, I think. It’s part of the exchange.”

Misty, 2005, from Niagara © Alec Soth

Viewers will be able to survey his narrative arc and storytelling, as well as his experimentation with different mediums including books, magazines and digital forms, which allow him to be seen as one of the world’s most prolific documentary photographers.

6th October 2015 - 28th March 2016

  • Words: Rebecca Parker

  • Banner Photography Credit: Two Towels, 2004, from Niagara © Alec Soth

  • Photography: Courtesy of Alex Soth