Alec Soth in conversation with Alona Pardo at Foyles, London

To celebrate the launch of his latest book, I Know How Furiously Your Heart is Beating, critically acclaimed American photographer Alec Soth will be in conversation with Barbican curator Alona Pardo at Foyles this weekend. Throughout his twenty-year career, Soth has explored America’s shifting socio-political landscape through a succession of incisively poetic portrait and interior studies; his new publication follows a year-long hiatus from photography in which Soth spent time considering his creative process.

“For over a year I stopped travelling and photographing people. I barely took any pictures at all. When I returned to photography, I wanted to strip the medium down to its primary elements. Rather than trying to make some sort of epic narrative about America, I wanted to simply spend time looking at other people and, hopefully, briefly glimpse their interior life.”

I Know How Furiously Your Heart is Beating – named after a line in Wallace Stevens’ short poem The Gray Room – presents a series of portraits taken all over the world. The new publication is predicated on one-on-one encounters, distancing Soth’s work from a particular sense of place, population, and nationhood, and focussing instead on interrogating the nature of portraiture through a process of intimate and extended character engagement.

Alona Pardo has been a curator at the Barbican since 2005, working on a number of international and critically acclaimed touring exhibitions and publications. Last year, Pardo curated a trio of photography exhibitions coinciding with the Barbican’s ‘Art of Change’ season: Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeing, Vanessa Winship: And Time Folds and Another Kind of Life: Photography on the Margins.

The talk will take place in London on Saturday 29 June, from 7pm, whilst the launch of I Know How Furiously Your Heart is Beating coincides with four solo exhibitions in New York, San Francisco, Minneapolis, and Berlin. This event is ticketed at Foyles, Charing Cross Road.

Find out more here.

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