What is an artist to do when they come to regret their early work, especially when this disavowal comes about as a result of its popularity? I spoke with Alec Soth about his two-year period of self-reflection and near-abandonment of photography, and how how he came to return to the practice and publish a new book of intimate portraits, I Know How Furiously Your Heart Is Beating.
When I started again I didn't want to do a big American project, a complicated narrative and all this stuff coming together, I just wanted to be a photographer. I really wanted to strip everything down to just being in a room with another person. I wanted to get away from this feeling of exploitation and all those ethical quandaries you have to work out on the fly.