Evolving from a series of road trips along the Mississippi River, Alec Soth's "Sleeping by the Mississippi" captures Americas 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 books 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 Soths book exactly within the tradition of Walker Evans "American Photographs" and Robert Franks "The Americans". Like Franks 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.
This is the third print run and third new cover of a book which has become one of the most highly collected and widely acclaimed photo-books of recent times.