Artist: Elinor Carucci
Title: The woman that I still am #2, Mother
Edition: of 8
Medium: Chromogenic print
Size: 50 x 40 cm
Misc: Signed, titled, dated and numbered on verso
As Elinor Carucci's photographic diary continues to evolve, she takes us into the details of her surroundings, her family life and her home. By narrowing the way she looks at things, the more she is able to see. Carucci takes the viewer into a very private part of her world. Marks on a body from bed sheets after waking, the imprint of a zipper on skin looks familiar and beautiful, a few dark hairs on an upper lip reveal a flaw in an otherwise perfect and sensual mouth. Carucci photographs the stitches on a finger, and it becomes eerie and striking, mimicking the pattern of eyelashes from a very separate and quiet photo. All are the results of reality, living and seeing, capturing accidents with artful intention.
Since her gallery debut in 1997, Carucci's reputation has grown internationally with solo exhibitions in London, Frankfurt, Prague, and Jerusalem. Her work has been extensively published and collected by numerous institutions and private collectors.
At first, Carucci photographed her mother, father and brother, and then later the extended family. At a certain stage, she began shooting her mother and herself as a series of pictures, serving as work subjects. Black and white posed photos posed: a repeat of previous scenes, a repetition with something missing.
The second stage of her word was shooting in colour. No advance warning, no cooperation. To snap, to develop, to check and over again. The frame became flexible and hospitable. What she had previously considered improvisation, marginal, came close to the centre and became the theme itself.
Even as a permanent presence, which one got used to, the camera generated situations. Not because it had a personality, but because it aroused an attitude, by documenting a situation and in that way competing with the image of the photographed object in relation to itself. It was like facing a mirror: When you look into it, you tauten your face muscles slightly, change your statement - and that's what happens in front of a camera. She found herself and her family discovering themselves, a discovery of nuances, but nevertheless a discovery. Also the process of selecting and sorting was similarly problematic: to chose the "pretty" or the "right" photo, the "aesthetic" or "authentic" one, how to distinguish between them, how to integrate them.
Another problem: how much to interfere in the pictured situation? Does altering the lighting create a different situation? Does a bit of cleaning up or changing clothes before photographing keep one faithful to the reality of what one is trying to document? Maybe some of the photos are what you would like things to be and not how they really are?
The preferred situation: Don't think, just shoot, just shoot.
"Sometimes, photographing came before the logical understanding and my consciousness regarding life around me. Sometimes, it confused my world of pictures with the real world. On
other occasions, the camera "saw" what was happening in front of it before I did. Like someone else standing aside, the photos said: Pay attention, there's something here which you did
not grasp by yourself - ?wake up!
Surpassingly, through the small details, the photographs began to extend beyond my family frontiers. In the "small" near me I could see the "big" the "far", and go back to observing my
intimate surroundings. Differently. Taking pictures of them, through them.
My mother was the first person I ever photographed and I still take pictures of her obsessively. My mother was and is my first connection to the world, the relationship we have is a very special and ambivalent one. I used to think that the struggles and reactions from my childhood would eventually go away and my mother's power over me would dissipate, but I realize, as I get older, that it is basic and stronger than me. Only in the last few years, I began to see my mother, not only as a strong person, but also more as a human being with anxieties, weaknesses, and the natural fear of aging. It scares me. Mom has to be total security, the 'only' security. Power, beauty and femininity. Perfect. Still today, I feel that her power is unlimited and she can do anything for me, she is invincible. But when she prepared me for the world, she showed me the world through her eyes and taught me that there are things that
she cannot do for me. My mother put her lipstick on my lips and hoped that it would protect me.
I once thought that to take pictures of my mom would help me overcome the fear of time passing, but the photography only shows me the cruelty of time and even the pictures of faces without wrinkles do not comfort me."