The Tribe

“The only thing you can really photograph is your own tribe. The only people I really photograph are the people I really love and generally I’ve known for years and so I photograph them over years.” – Nan Goldin

The theme for the second week of Picbod was set on ‘The Tribe’, defined by Nan Goldin, meaning the people that surround you in life and share an intimate connection with you.

The work of Elinor Carucci gives us, the audience, an insight into what appears to be a very personal intimate world. Looking at her photographs allows us to experience moments that wouldn’t exist if we were present in those environment, because they are created by the intimate relationships of the people within them. Carucci is able to capture these moments as she is part of the tribe of people she is photographing and therefore anyone lying outside this tribe wouldn’t be able to create these images. Her photographs capture insignificant details that may go unnoticed to an outsider, as well as the moments where the subjects become completely unguarded by the presence of the camera.

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The task for this week was as follows “To photograph from the inside. Photograph as Nan Goldin says ‘Your Tribe’. Study someone you are close to and make images with them of an intimate nature. Bear in mind your own vulnerabilities from the first task when you begin this new photographic relationship and ensure you are completely competent technically so you can focus on the making of images without being distracted by other details.”

I didn’t want to think to much about a final product for this task, as the moment may appear too artificial and less intimate. So this portrait is a document of an informal photographic session. The person in this photograph is someone I have known for quite a while and is someone I have photographed on many occasions, so the presence of the camera didn’t become a barrier between us. I think because there is a high level of trust between us he felt comfortable to relax and not to be conscious of how he presented himself in-front of the camera.

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