CEMETERY, FOUNTAIN CITY, WISCONSIN ALEC SOTH
Back at the end of the last century the Minneapolis photographer Alec Soth decided to go on a road trip down the Mississippi. Along the way, and on subsequent road trips too, he captured a vision of North America that was spooked and lonely and aching with an unspoken discontent.
Here were prisoners, preachers and isolated petrol stations. Here were bibles and cemeteries. Here were lived-in homes and worn-out lives. Every image in the book that resulted, Sleeping by the Mississippi, throbs with an untold story.
“Loneliness is as present as faith throughout the book,” writes Anne Wilkes Tucker in an afterword of a new edition of Soth’s 2004 book of photographs. You can feel it on every page.
And maybe that loneliness is why people get in their cars and go. Why? Because outside, it’s America. Why? Because if we keep moving it proves we’re not dead, right?
So what else can we do? Fill her up, friend. Fill her up.
Taken from Sleeping by the Mississippi by Alec Soth, published by MACK, priced £40