Last year Magnum photographer Alec Soth was commissioned to work for the Brighton Photo Biennial. But due to a last minute snaggle he was unable to get a work visa in time. At a loss to deliver what was asked of him, on the fly he enlisted his then seven-year old daughter Carmen to photograph what she saw in Brighton. This young woman has now produced two books based on that experience under the auspices of her father, and although in some ways less ambitious than Brighton Picture Hunt, The Brighton Bunny Boy (available from Little Brown Mushroom), a collaboration among Carmen, Alec, and Gus Soth, remarkably conveys both the innocence and anxiety of childhood.
He has passed on his gift for the photography book to his daughter, who supplies the kind of openness and imagination that most of us unfortunately grow out of. The Brighton Bunny Boy incorporates Carmen Soth’s text and illustrations with her photos of an elusive boy (played by brother Gus) who mysteriously hides in a bunny costume. Such alienation is often seen in her father’s work but I all too well remember that childhood alienation, different from that of adulthood but no less acute, and Soth addresses one of the painful dilemmas of growing up: how to find and assert your identity in the greater society. In the span of eighteen zine-sized pages, a brief but not at all minor drama plays out with character development and resolution. The book is cute and unsettling, a winning combination.
May the Soth family continue their monographic winning streak for generations to come.Powered by Sidelines