Songbook • Alec Soth • Magnum Photos

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Arts & Culture

Songbook

A lyrical, personable and widely encompassing homage to American life through the lens of Alec Soth as community newspaper reporter

Alec Soth

Alec Soth | Songbook Dance N Style. Sandusky, Ohio, USA. 2012. © Alec Soth | Magnum Photos
Alec Soth | Songbook Miss Model contestants. Cleveland, Ohio, USA. 2012. © Alec Soth | Magnum Photos
Alec Soth | Songbook Facebook main campus. Menlo Park, California, USA. 2013. © Alec Soth | Magnum Photos
Alec Soth | Songbook Dottie. Denver, Colorado, USA. 2013. © Alec Soth | Magnum Photos
Alec Soth | Songbook Brian Coffey, an employee of Raven Drilling. North Dakota, USA. 2012. © Alec Soth | Magnum Photos
Alec Soth | Songbook Rodeo Dance. Near San Antonio, Texas, USA. 2013. © Alec Soth | Magnum Photos
Alec Soth | Songbook Corsicana Tumbling Academy. Corsicana, Texas, USA. 2013. © Alec Soth | Magnum Photos
Alec Soth | Songbook Williston Basin. Off Highway 23, North Dakota, USA. 2012. © Alec Soth | Magnum Photos
Alec Soth | Songbook Woodville Farm Labor Camp. San Joaquin Valley, California, USA. 2013. © Alec Soth | Magnum Photos
Alec Soth | Songbook Near Kaaterskill Falls, New York State, USA. 2012. © Alec Soth | Magnum Photos
Alec Soth | Songbook Customers waiting for Walmart to open on a Sunday afternoon. Williston, North Dakota, USA. 2012. © Alec Soth | Magnum Photos
Alec Soth | Songbook Crazy Legs Saloon. Watertown, New York, USA. 2012. © Alec Soth | Magnum Photos
Alec Soth | Songbook Babyland General Hospital. Cleveland, Ohio, USA. 2014. © Alec Soth | Magnum Photos
Alec Soth | Songbook Home Suite Home. Kissimmee, Florida, USA. 2012. © Alec Soth | Magnum Photos
Alec Soth | Songbook Cade and Cody. Au Gres-Sims High School Wolverines. Au Gres, Michigan, USA. 2012. © Alec Soth | Magnum Photos

Known for his haunting portraits of solitary Americans in Sleeping by the Mississippi and Broken Manual, Alec Soth has recently turned his lens toward community life in the country. To aid in his search, Soth assumed the increasingly obsolescent role of community newspaper reporter.

From 2012-2014, Soth traveled state by state while working on his self-published newspaper, The LBM Dispatch, as well as on assignment for the New York Times and others. From upstate New York to Silicon Valley, Soth attended hundreds of meetings, dances, festivals and communal gatherings in search of human interaction in an era of virtual social networks. 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 desire to be united.