Artist: Alec Soth
Title: Execution. Huntsville Prison. Huntsville, Texas.
Technique: Archival Pigment Print
About the artist:
Alec Soth was born the United States of America in 1969, works and lives in Minnesota.
Soth studied at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York
His work has developed around his interest in documenting the America that rarely is seen and the landscape around it.
Some of his exhibitions are
_2004: Alec Soth ‘Sleeping by the Mississippi’, Yossi Milo Gallery, New York, NY
_2005: Gagosian Gallery, New York, NY
_2009/2010: Niagara, Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, MA
_2012: Alec Soth: La Belle Dame sans Merci, Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow, Central Exhibition Hall Moscow Manege, Moscow
_2015/2016: Gathered Leaves, Media Space, Science Museum, London, 7 October 2015 – 28 March 20162015/2016: Gathered Leaves, Media Space, Science Museum, London, 7 October 2015 – 28 March 2016.
Parallel to his work as photographer he has published several books.
What “Execution” is saying?
This photograph is part of the project the “Songbook”.
When I saw this photograph I was seduced by two aspects of it:
_The composition: there are “3 bands of color” that converge far away at a point we do not see but due the title of the work we can guess. The dark sky, the pavement and the row of uniformed people create a homogeneity somehow disturbing and threatening.
_The Theme: one may compare it with a procession with its imposed order and pace but due to the fact that the photo freeze the time of the action that eventually will achieve its dramatic end, there is that feel of doom and sadness inundating the scene.
Documenting facts which has been one of the main roles of photography can be altered, tinted by the eye that captures that moment converting it in something else than a record, they can become an open book for expressing drama, anguish and the inevitability of that that won’t be changed.
In what Room to place it?
A piece like the one I saw, 1 x .80 mts can go in the living room, hallway and study. I would avoid it to be in the dining room and bedroom.
It has a very strong presence and meaning so it is a piece for somebody that is not concerned about making a big statement.
It is a photograph that certainly will make you think and feel in different levels.
With this kind of work I would suggest a contrasting background either white or in color.
Due to the amount of black reflections are going to happen a good lighting needs to be thought of.
As you already know I prefer a black frame for this kind of works; something linear and not contrasting. A 70 or 100 mm mounting in off white would look great.