Celebrated for his haunting and influential portraits and landscapes in such acclaimed books asSleeping by the Mississippi, Broken Manual, and Niagara Alec Soth has recently turned his lens toward community life in the country. From 2012 to 2014 Soth traveled the United States looking for signs of social life in our era of virtual social networks. To aid in his search, Soth assumed the increasingly obsolescent role of community newspaper reporter. From upstate New York to Silicon Valley, he attended hundreds of meetings, dances, festivals and family gatherings.
With Songbook, Soth has stripped these pictures of their news context in order to highlight the longing for connection at their root. Fragmentary, funny, and sad, Songbook is a lyrical depiction of the tension between American individualism and the ongoing desire to be united.