Evolving from a series of road trips along the Mississippi River, Alec Soth’s Sleeping by the Mississippi captures America’s iconic yet oft-neglected “third coast.” Soth’s richly descriptive, large format color photographs describe an eclectic mix of individuals, landscapes, and interiors. Sensuous in detail and raw in subject, his book elicits a consistent mood of loneliness, longing and reverie.
“In the book’s forty-six ruthlessly edited pictures,” writes Anne Wilkes Tucker, “Soth alludes to illness, procreation, race, crime, learning, art, music, death, religion, redemption, politics, and cheap sex… The coherence of the project places Soth’s book exactly within the tradition of Walker Evans’ American Photographs and Robert Frank’s The Americans.”
Like Frank’s classic book, Sleeping by the Mississippi merges a documentary style with a poetic sensibility. The Mississippi is less the subject of the book than its organizing structure. Not bound by a rigid concept or ideology, the series is created out of a quintessentially American spirit of wanderlust. – The publisher