In conversation with Carrie Elizabeth Thompson
On Love & Separation
Carrie Elizabeth Thompson: How do you define love?
Alec Soth: Wow, you are the kind of person that just jumps right into the pool, aren’t you? I feel like I need to dip my toes in a little bit here. Let’s see. For me, the thing I understand better than love is separation. I understand how we live inside our own heads and everything outside of that: trees, cats, people—all of that is something separate. I guess love has to do with the feeling of an external being not being truly separate. You feel like another person is a part of you the way your toes are a part of you. But surely there are many different kinds of love. My hands feel like a bigger part of myself than my toes and so on.
CET: What series and/or image of yours do you feel is most related to your definition of love?
AS: I suppose the project I did in collaboration with Stacey Baker had a lot to do with this understanding of love. On one day, I photographed all of Stacey’s dates during the world’s largest speed dating event in Las Vegas. The next day, Stacey and I interviewed elderly couples at the largest retirement community in Las Vegas. These couples had all been together for decades. Their love was a great example of separate individuals growing together. That said, in terms of photography, I’m more interested in the pictures I made of Stacey on her dates.
Full interview in Issue Three, which you can purchase here.