In the Spring of 2009, John Gossage and Alec Soth traveled together to New Zealand to work on a joint photography project. For both, it was a trip of departures. Gossage has been creating photographic literature in black-and-white for over 40 years, and this trip yielded one of the first bodies of work he had ever produced in color. Soth’s work with the 8×10 view camera has inspired an entire generation of his contemporaries, and leaving it behind was key to approaching the world from a fresh visual perspective. The results represent a major shift of vision for these two vastly important American photographers.
This publication represents the culmination of that trip. Both the concept and the content of the book have been driven by the uniqueness of the collaboration and the primacy of the photobook to the artistic practice of both Soth and Gossage. Essentially two books in one, The Auckland Project showcases a playful attention to materials and presentation that marks all Radius Books projects. Unlike 2007’s Obvious & Ordinary in which Martin Parr (in his signature color) and John Gossage (using black-and-white) published the results of a road-trip across the American South, this volume presents the two photographers’ work separately, creatively combined through the device of the book and its housing.
About the Artists
John Gossage (b. 1946) began working professionally as a photographer at the age of 14. At age 19, Gossage attended Walden School in Washington DC for two years, studying with Lisette Model, Alexey Brodovitch, and Bruce Davidson. In 1985, his first major monograph was published by Aperture. It was titled The Pond and was followed shortly thereafter by Stadt des Schwarz in 1987, both of which are mentioned at length in The Photobook: A History, volume II. His work is in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Cocoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC; Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona, Tucson; and Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, among other institutions.
Alec Soth (b. 1969) is a photographer born and based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is the recipient of several major fellowships from the Bush, McKnight and Jerome Foundations and was awarded the 2003 Santa Fe Prize for Photography. His work is represented in major public and private collections, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. His first monograph, Sleeping by the Mississippi, was published by Steidl in 2004 to critical acclaim. Soth is represented by Gagosian Gallery in New York, Weinstein Gallery in Minneapolis, and is a member of Magnum Photos.