An eclectic mix of images composes Alec Soth’s latest photobook

Reading Time: < 1 minute

“[The images] are about the process of their own making. They are about going into the ecstatically specific world and creating a connection between the ephemeral (light, time) and the physical (eyeballs, film)”

Each image in Alec Soth’s A Pound of Pictures is a world unto itself. A magnetic portrait. An intricate landscape. And yet gentle threads tie them together — the connections we, as viewers, form and the circumstances that led Soth to create them. “One can lie on the ground and look up at the almost infinite number of stars in the night sky, but in order to tell stories about those stars they need to be seen as constellations, the invisible lines which can connect them need to be assumed.” So reads a quote from John Berger from Another Way of Telling, which punctuates the book.

Although Soth began the series by tracing the route of Abraham Lincoln’s funeral train to mourn the divisiveness in America, the idea fell flat — as the photographer reveals in a poignant text at the publication’s end. Regardless, Soth continued travelling, remembering the reason the camera first compelled him: photography becoming an excuse to “wander and dig”. The rich and varied compositions that comprise A Pound of Pictures are testament to this. As Soth articulates, “they are about the process of their own making. They are about going into the ecstatically specific world and creating a connection between the ephemeral (light, time) and the physical (eyeballs, film). These accumulated connections hopefully create constellations of possible meaning.”

A Pound of Pictures is published by Mack.