10 minutes with Elinor Carucci

Interviews with Photographers April 22, 2013 9:08 am

When did you first know that you wanted to be a photographer?

I think I was very young. When I was fifteen, I started taking pictures of my mother, and then when I was seventeen after a trip to New York, visiting the International Center of Photography and seeing more photography, I came back to Israel and told my parents that I wanted to be a photographer. I think I never felt so connected to anything that I had done before, and I had done a lot in the arts; I played the piano, I did theater, but when I did photography, it was just the thing that I could do all day and all of the time. I was completely in love. It was like, maybe my first love. Before I fell in love with a man, I fell in love with photography.

Bite 1, 2000 - Closer - Elinor Carucci

Bite 1, 2000 – Closer – Elinor Carucci

Eran almost touches me, 1999 - Closer - Elinor Carucci

Eran almost touches me, 1999 – Closer – Elinor Carucci

Making the bed, 1996 - Closer - Elinor Carucci

Making the bed, 1996 – Closer – Elinor Carucci

Mother and I, 2000- Closer - Elinor Carucci

Mother and I, 2000 – Closer – Elinor Carucci

 

As a mother to twins, you have documented some incredible, and honest moments, of your pregnancy and life as a mother. How do you balance having two children with and having time for your own work?

Its very very hard, and some days I almost give up. I mean, its just, working a lot, and I give up my social life, so, a lot of my friends are waiting for me, in a few years to maybe go back to going out sometimes, or to having brunch over the weekend. I just don’t have a social life, so it became the priority was just like, I’m going to be a mom, and I’m going to do my work. I don’t have help, I have help from my husband, but Its just really focusing and prioritizing. I’m not going out. I’m not having a social life. This is all I do, my work and my children.

Diary of a Dancer - Elinor Carucci

Diary of a Dancer – Elinor Carucci

Diary of a Dancer - Elinor Carucci

Diary of a Dancer – Elinor Carucci

Diary of a Dancer - Elinor Carucci

Diary of a Dancer – Elinor Carucci

Diary of a Dancer - Elinor Carucci

Diary of a Dancer – Elinor Carucci

Diary of a Dancer - Elinor Carucci

Diary of a Dancer – Elinor Carucci

Diary of a Dancer - Elinor Carucci

Diary of a Dancer – Elinor Carucci

Diary of a Dancer - Elinor Carucci

Diary of a Dancer – Elinor Carucci

If you could go back ten years, what advice would you give yourself?

If I could go back ten years, I don’t know if I would have such smart advice. But maybe twenty years ago, I would not let myself move from Israel to New York, because I’m here now and the opportunities here and how my work was received, will never make me go back to Israel. I mean, New York loves me, and the people here love and get my work. But the pain of being away from my family in Israel is sometimes unbearable. So, maybe I wouldn’t even give myself the opportunity to explore New York and just stay in Israel by my family. I think once you leave the paradise of having one home, one country, you can’t go back. Because once you immigrate to another country – I am American, I am an American citizen and I love New York, but you never belong completely to one place anymore. I belong here, and I belong to Israel, but I am not completely belonging to either of the places. So, I think you learn a lot when you go through the immigration experience, but its painful, its a painful experience and hard to be so far away from my family and my culture, the country I left behind. And when I go to visit, I feel like, I never completely belong there anymore, I feel like a visitor. So, maybe, maybe that would be my advice – to stay, not to see too much. On the other hand, that might have been bad advice, because I am happy here.

Cherries i ate by myself, 2003 - Crisis - Elinor Carucci

Cherries i ate by myself, 2003 – Crisis – Elinor Carucci

First tears over another man, 2002 - Crisis - Elinor Carucci

First tears over another man, 2002 – Crisis – Elinor Carucci

Love, in spite, - 2003- Crisis - Elinor Carucci

Love, in spite, – 2003- Crisis – Elinor Carucci

Any words of wisdom for the up and comers?

I think the only words of wisdom I have for people who are starting off in photography is to try to find your voice and to find the kind of work that you’re really good at, and that reflects who you are, and to stay yourself in the process. I mean, yes, be proactive, be a hard-worker, initiate – but stay yourself, don’t feel like you have to be anyone else other than who you are. And you can do things your way, even if it will slow you down a little. So I think its all about really finding who we are, its a combination of finding who we are and what our work – what do we want to to tell the world, how we are different, how we are unique. And staying who we are also in the way we run our careers. And so its this, plus working hard and not giving up and going through the dark times when you think, you know that things are not going well and just keeping the strength. And be flexible, if you started thinking you want to be one thing and your ending up that you like something else – a different kind of photography or you like curating more than you like being a photographer, or you like writing about photography, or you like doing fashion photography more than fine arts, I mean, just let yourself explore and change and keep developing.

 

(Elinor is based in New York. See more of her work, here)

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