Thursday, July 10, 2008

three questions for carmen winant, part 2

part two of this week's conversation with emerging photographer Carmen Winant.

Subjectify: Your mother seems like a remarkably willing subject. Does she enjoy being photographed by you? Is she central to your project Close?

Carmen Winant: I have always admired photographers who photograph their own families in earnest – Sally Mann, Tina Barney, Larry Sultan, and Elinor Carucci, among many. They make it look so effortless. It is a classic motif, but in some ways it’s harder than photographing strangers. In my case, I am most interested in exploring the tension (and uncomfortable overlap) between familial and erotic intimacy.

My mom doesn’t always enjoy sitting for the camera, but she has been incredibly generous. I regard my mother lending her body to my work as a gift, and am really encouraged in her own belief in the power of picture-making. She is also really striking, which certainly doesn’t hurt in creating a compelling image.

I have taken lots of images of my family that I cherish but that they understandably find too personal to promote in the world. So, I really admire my mother not only for allowing me to take the images, but to show them.

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