The Space Between Us: Alec Soth

Shanghai Center Of Photography

Exhibition: The Space Between Us: Alec Soth
Duration: 2020.08.01 - 2020.11.20
Address: Shanghai Center of Photography, 2555-1 Longteng Avenue, Shanghai


A unique aspect of Soth's work lies in his exploration of how to photograph "people". Besides uses photography as a medium to record an encounter, Soth pays particular attention to observing the little people in the big era, particularly the mundane nature of their social life, creating a delicate chemical reaction between himslef and the subject. Soth enjoys walking into a person’s life, whether to step into their living space, or shoot some detail of their eonvironment, or by using depth of field and focal points to direct the viewers’ attention. At all times, Soth is carefully examining the space between himself and the subject.


Soth uses his process to show people the importance of digging into life, demonstrating that by capturing intimate scenes photography can express as strong a world view as by photographing grand public events. As a patient observer, he spends a lot of time with each of his subjects. The works often present a sense of poetry beyond the still picture. This aura of intimacy and solitude is everywhere in Soth's works, and is a unifying feature of his visual language. Giving himself up to the mood of a moment, he enables viewers to see themselves through the distinctly unconventional portraits that result.


“The Space Between Us” is not a fully retrospective exhibition, but an art practice including the revelation of Soth’s rethink about himself and photography.  “The mark of a great photographer isn’t taking one amazing photo,” he says,  “but the ability to assemble an amazing collection”. “The Space Between Us” includes representative works from each of Soth’s major series – “Perfect Strangers”, “Looking for Love”, “Sleeping by the Mississippi”, “Niagara”, “Broken Manual”, “Songbook” and latest “I Know How Furiously Your Heart Is Beating”, allowing viewers to follow along with his emotional and physical journeys, and the creative path he has taken through different periods of his work.