In this term, I was introduced to the work of photographer Elinor Carucci and specifically her book “Midlife“.

her work consistently dives into the personal, yet always with the goal of finding universal meaning. Her photographs reflect qualities of the snapshot home-photo-album aesthetic, yet also that of the theatrically staged image. (Rice, 2019)

In the introduction to “Midlife”, the writer Kristen Roupenian talks about her response to Carucci’s work

Because that’s how it is, isn’t it – our attention wanders and lurches; we move from being scattered to self-obsessed, intrusive to neglectful; our attention moves from the self to others and back again, never in quite the right place, or at the right time, never in quite the right amount. (Roupenian, 2019, 7)

While Carucci’s work may be a staged heightened reality and is considered by some to be not authentic, to some it is more realistic for that very fact of this:

But more than any other photographer, Elinor Carucci has never veered from the actual facts and details of her life. In photographs that are posed yet revealing, Carucci has staged the territory of domestic intimacy for almost thirty years. (Durant, Issue 24)

It is this documentation of my life, that I feel, is the future direction for me, and to also explore the world of staged photography. Carucci, in her introduction to her book “Closer” describes her work in these terms:

The camera was, in this sense, both a way to get close, and to break free. It was a testimony to independence as well as a new way to relate. A boundary, a distance, as well as the documentation of closeness. I could see my mother, my husband, my father, at once in a detached and a related way…..Things I had previously considered marginal drifted to the center and often became themes in their own right. Ironically, the closer I got to the details, the more I zoomed in the more universal the themes turned out to be. Moving in turned out to be moving out. Work on minute details – a mark on the skin, a stitch, a hair, an eye, a kiss – carried the work beyond the boundaries of my family. (Carucci, 2002)

It is this pursuit of wanting to get within my own comfort zone, of wanting to ask more about myself and examine myself, that I am interested in. How I see myself and where I see myself within this place that I currently exist.

References

Rice, C., 2020. A Studio Visit With Elinor Carucci. [online] B&H Explora. Available at: <https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/photography/features/a-studio-visit-with-elinor-carucci> [Accessed 26 July 2020].

Carucci, E., 2019. Midlife. 1st ed. China: The Monacelli Press, p.7.

Carucci, E. 2002. Closer. The Monacelli Press.

DEAR DAVE Magazine. 2020. DEAR DAVE MAGAZINE. [online] Available at: <https://www.deardavemagazine.com/issues#/issue-24/> [Accessed 26 July 2020].