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"Alec Soth: The Last Days of W" 

Wednesday, Feb 4 2009
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Now that the presidency of George Walker Bush is resigned to the bloopers file of history, a collective pooped-outedness has overtaken many who were prone to perpetual outrage. This may change as continued evidence of 43's idiocy leaks out, but for now, many would echo artist Alec Soth's sentiment that "mostly I feel worn out." Soth, a Magnum photographer, shot the images for "The Last Days of W" throughout North America during the eight years of Bush's tenure. They show military members, dying downtowns, motivational office posters, stripped-down weddings, trailers decorated for Christmas, and garbage dumps. There are lots of horizontal landscapes with bleak horizons, and a few portraits of lost, awkward-looking folks. In short, as Soth says, it's "a panoramic look at a country exhausted by its catastrophic leadership." While the images' main purpose is elegiac, they do serve to remind us that every end is a starting point.

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Traci Vogel

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