by Alec Soth
For Alec Soth, Niagara Falls wasn't merely a tourist destination but a place whose cultural identity let him explore the human inability to sustain the intense emotional peaks of new love and passion.
“I became interested in the idea of Niagara as a metaphor for love and passion and began exploring those themes. Why do people have honeymoons in Niagara Falls? Why is it associated with sexuality and passion and new love?”
Alec Soth dreamt of his most recent photography project, exploring themes of love in Niagara Falls, before his physical journey there. Comparing his artistic method to that of a hunter, Soth stalked the Niagara area looking for images of thematic interest. The result: couples, roadside motels, empty industrial landscapes and Niagara Falls itself. Soth compares his Niagara work to an "Orbison-like love song," where the "crashing passion" of falling in love eventually grows cold, falls apart or fades away.
"Niagara" is on display at the Gagosian Gallery in New york until February 25, 2006. The "Niagara" book will be on sale in March by Steidl Press.