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Alec Soth and the “The Last Days of W.”

20 Jan

Alec Soth- RNC, Saint Paul, MinnesotaPaul Schmelzer over at MNIndy posts up about Twin Cities photog turned art-star Alec Soth‘s latest compilation, a book of photos entitled “The Last Days of W.”  Which was yesterday, but like any bad hangover, is gonna have it’s lingering effects.  The title is taken from a beautifully simple, cutting poem by (the pseudonymous?) Lester B. Morrison:


Whether dawn or dusk,
Don Knotts or the deputy,
There is nothing left but gas

You’ve exhausted

You’ve laughed your head off
Wrapped it in black burlap
And bounced on the branch
Till sticky with candy and mâché.

Now the ranch is quiet,
Brush cleared,
Fields burnt,
Almost bored.

These are the last days of W.


Soth himself lays it out pretty well, saying, “During these last days of the administration, what is the point of protest, satire or any other sort of rabble-rousing? In assembling this collection of pictures I’ve made over the last eight years, I’m not really trying to accomplish much at all. But as President Bush once said, ‘One of the great things about books is, sometimes there are some fantastic pictures.’”  Still, now that we’ve got a president who can form a cogent sentence and look at a bigger picture, it is time to go back to the books, the drawing boards, a grander sense of the fantastic.

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