Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Alec Soth, Broken Manual

It was a pleasure to make a book swap with Alec Soth at Paris Photo and come away with a copy of his latest book, Broken Manual. This book is a collaboration with the mysterious Lester B. Morrison and in this new work Soth reinvents himself and the photobook.

Looking like something you might find in your Father's workshop under a pile of old Popular Mechanics, Broken Manual is ostensibly about escape and transformation. This many layered book deals with options and possibilities, chance and circumstance. It's what I would call a "what the fuck" sort of book.... what is going on here and why? The book is like having a stone in the shoe which niggles and irritates but is a reminder as to exactly where your feet are even if you don't know quite where you might be going. Makes you keep coming back to the problem to try and work it out.

Pleasingly there are some wonderful signature Soth large format colour pictures in the book and these are countered with more intimate black and white photographs, images like pocket pussy, and Frank's view. Different notes that push and pull as you struggle to fill in the gaps.

This is a photobook for our times where particularly right now in America so many things appear to be broken. But not Broken Manual, this photobook is about as close to perfect as you can get. So far my favorite photobook for 2010.


Reality Bites said...

Fabulous. I want it. The only place I could find it it is $800!

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