new-york

Alec Soth, The Unabomber’s View, 2006, black-and-white ink-jet print, 30 x 24".

Alec Soth

Sean Kelly Gallery

Alec Soth, The Unabomber’s View, 2006, black-and-white ink-jet print, 30 x 24".

The initial photograph encountered in Alec Soth’s “Broken Manual,” Roman, the nocturnal hermit, 2006, embodies the tension between disclosure and concealment that underpins this exhibition, which comprises a series of photographs and a new installation generated from Soth’s journeys to remote areas of the United States in search of men—from eccentric loners to paranoid survivalists—who have excommunicated themselves from society. Roman’s ancient, bearded visage surfaces reluctantly from a grainy black-and-white miasma—he is a ghostly afterimage of himself. With a subtly quizzical expression, he seems to ask the photographer: What compels you to offer me, as image, to the world? Delivering Roman from a purgatory of isolation into the scene of social reception and spectatorship, the photo exposes a thin line between trust and distrust that is also manifested in other

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