Elinor Carucci is preparing for the online opening of her solo show, Midlife, at Edwynn Houk Gallery as well as a virtual artist talk, Elinor Carucci: Photography in Pandemic Times, both happening on September 10th, 2020. She recently spoke with Esthetic Lens about her sleeplessness in the wake of the pandemic, negotiating ways to photograph her teenage children, and finding beauty in nature after feeling deprived of the world while under lockdown.
1. What’s keeping you up at night?
I’m Jewish, a woman, and an artist, what is not keeping me up at night? What keeps me awake can be very boring, it is financial, or my kids…their education, their health, if they are hurt, or sad.
My parents, now with the pandemic, I worry about their health…
I tend to worry about everything and anything, that is what keeps me up. I worry about my career, of course. At night, when I’m up worrying, I sometimes have revelations, or find solutions, or have ideas, so sometimes, it is worth the price.
2. What is the coolest thing you’ve seen or heard lately?
I actually feel that after a few months of lockdown, I’ve become more sensitive to everything that I’m seeing; in a way, it’s like I’ve been deprived of the world. I feel it can be just seeing a creek; my family just went to Pennsylvania for a few days. It can be seeing a tree, or a bee, it can be my daughter, looking at me, and saying, “Mom, you are successful…stop it.” Her love, and affirmation…
The world is endless, all the things that I’m seeing that I think are cool are around me every day and all the time.
3. What’s the most exciting thing you are working on right now?
Right now, I am trying to photograph the teen years of my two children and include some of their friends as well. I’ve been doing this for a couple of years, I have a few more still to go. It is very challenging in terms of gaining access to them; trying to describe anything about them as an artist.
It is a challenge to try to describe the nuances and the complexities of what we choose to do with our art.
4. If you could add anyone alive or dead to your team, who would it be?
I really miss my grandmother, so many times I want to talk to her, laugh with her, ask her for her opinion; I think it would be her. If I could bring her back, just to have her put her hand on my thigh and tell me that everything is going to be okay…I would.
5. When the movie about your life is made, what will it be called?
That’s a tough one, even just the thought of it…I have a simple answer, A Life of a Photographer.
Born 1971 in Jerusalem, Elinor Carucci graduated in 1995 from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design with a degree in photography. Her work has been included in numerous exhibitions worldwide, including in solo shows at Edwynn Houk Gallery, Fifty One Fine Art Photography Gallery, Fotomuseum Antwerp, and Gagosian Gallery, London, among others, and in group shows at the Museum of Modern Art, MoCP Chicago, and the Photographers’ Gallery, London. Her photographs are included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the International Center of Photography, The Houston Museum of Fine Arts, and the Haifa Museum of Art. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Details, WIRED, Men’s Health, New York Magazine, W, People, Aperture, ARTnews, and numerous other publications. Carucci was awarded the ICP Infinity Award in 2001, the Guggenheim Fellowship in 2002, and was named the NYFA Fellow in Photography in 2010. Midlife is her fourth monograph, after Closer (Chronicle, 2002/2009), Diary of a Dancer (SteidlMack, 2005), and Mother (Prestel, 2013). Carucci teaches at the graduate program of Photography and Related Media at the School of Visual Arts and is represented by Edwynn Houk Gallery in New York and Fifty One Fine Art Photography Gallery, Belgium. She lives in New York City.
An artist talk about Carucci’s career and a virtual reception for the exhibition will be hosted by the School of Visual Arts on Thursday, September 10th, 2020 from 6:30 to 8:00 PM, EST. Please visit Eventbrite to register for the free event, which will be held on Zoom.
Elinor Carucci can be found online:
YouTube: Elinor Carucci: Survival Mode