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Alec Soth: Seesaw: Portraiture and Play with Alec Soth & Friends

For a week in October, Alec Soth shared 90-minute silent sessions with dancers, performers, and other volunteers interested in collaboration and movement. Setting the stage for this work, Soth asked the sculptor Matt Olson to design a set of objects with imaginative potential energy. He also invited choreographer and dancer Isak Immanuel to explore the possibility of the portrait studio as a site for play, and documented the process. Soth returns the final week in November to continue his experiments at FraenkelLAB.

Closing reception:
Friday, December 1, 5:00–7:00pm
Join us for the closing reception, featuring a performance directed by Isak Immanuel
FraenkelLAB: 1632 Market Street, San Francisco

In Conversation:
Saturday, December 2, 12:00–1:30pm
Join us for a discussion between Alec Soth, OOIEE, Isak Immanuel, and Soth’s other collaborators
FraenkelLAB: 1632 Market Street, San Francisco

Alec Soth was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he is currently based. His photographs have been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including the Jeu de Paume in Paris and Fotomuseum Winterthur in Switzerland in 2008. In 2010, the Walker Art Center produced a large survey of Soth’s work entitled From Here To There. His work is in the permanent collections of numerous museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Since his inclusion in the 2004 Whitney and São Paulo Biennials, which coincided with the publication of his widely influential first monograph, Sleeping by the Mississippi, Alec Soth (b. 1969) has stood out as a vibrant and distinctive voice in contemporary photography. His iconic large-format color photographs of people and scenes from middle America met with immediate critical acclaim. Rooted firmly in the narrative framework of traditional photographic expression, Soth has continued to push the boundaries of the medium through his long-term projects and his prolific book-publishing activities. In addition to Sleeping by the Mississippi (Steidl, 2004), Soth has published NIAGARA (2006), Fashion Magazine (2007), Dog Days, Bogotá (2007), The Last Days of W (2008), and Broken Manual (2010). Soth has been the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, including the Guggenheim Fellowship (2013). In 2008, Soth started Little Brown Mushroom, an independent publishing company devoted to small-run artist books. Soth is also a member of Magnum Photos.

Matt Olson founded OOIEE (Office Of Interior Establishing Exterior) in Minneapolis in 2016 to work on a wide array of projects related to art and design after ending RO/LU, his former studio. The new office embraces ‘open practice’, a term meant to sidestep and outplay the notion of choosing a discipline or focus in favor of trusting the work that emerges and following a sprawling set of interests forward. Projects have ranged from sculpture, furniture, landscape architecture related work, teaching, writing and more.

Isak Immanuel is a Bay Area-based interdisciplinary artist, choreographer, and dancer making work within quotidian spaces, theaters, galleries, and for camera. As a platform to engage local and global questions of place, he founded Tableau Stations (initiated with the project Floor of Sky in 2004). Since its conception, numerous works have been researched and presented in several countries and contrasting rural and urban environments, including within India, Japan, Taiwan, Germany, Czech Republic, Italy, and the US. Immanuel’s ongoing work addresses travel, absence, inversion, and how to open a map through collaboration and experimentation.

FraenkelLAB, opened in April 2016 and spearheaded by Frish Brandt and Jeffrey Fraenkel, is Fraenkel Gallery’s venue for adventurous artwork from any era and in any medium. Follow @fraenkelLAB on Instagram for the latest news about upcoming events.