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Elinor Carucci

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This week; A man visits the graveside of his son—killed by Gaddafi loyalists—in Tripoli, three thousand flags commemorate the 10 year anniversary of 9/11, a plane flies through the “Tribute in Lights” in lower Manhattan. gas pipeline explosion in Nairobi, gunmen open fire on a school bus in Pakistan, Israeli embassy attack in Cairo, Brazilian forest fires, Damien Hirst’s sculpture Legend, New York fashion week, Novak Djokovic wins the U.S. Open, and the painted “Tiger Men” of India’s “Pulikali” Tiger Dance festival.

See last week’s Best Pictures of the Week.

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Known for her unflinching self-portraits, Israeli-American photographer Elinor Carucci has always used her body and her relationships as the primary subjects for her work. When she became pregnant with twins, she again turned the camera on herself, recording the raw and intensely physical process of becoming a mother as well as the intimate and messy details of caring for small children.

Carucci has been a photographer since she was 15. Her images of private moments with her parents, her husband and her struggle with pain are simultaneously unsentimental and luminous. While Carucci is comfortable revealing her most private moments, the series, Born, which opened in New York this week, was something new. ”I was pointing my camera at the pregnancy because it took over me, it was the focus of those nine months. Of course, [I was] functioning, I was working, it was a very dramatic event. I felt very different than how I usually do.”

Born is the first chapter of Carucci’s chronicle of motherhood taking her through 2008 when her twins were toddlers. “In Eden and Emmanuelle the first month, you really get the tradition of what we’re used to seeing—motherhood as portrait, Madonna and child. You really see those beautiful magical moments where you cannot believe the connection and the physical warmth of the baby in your hands. On the other hand, you go through the difficult times—you’re tired, the constant need to breastfeed them. This I feel is less documented in photography and I am shocked by how those moments live side by side.”

Elinor Carucci—Sasha Wolf Gallery

Come over here and apologize!, 2010

Her relationship with her husband Eran has been central to her previous work (Closer and Crisis) so his near absence from Born is striking. He appears only in one image, Feeling me, 2004. “Like many women, motherhood really took over me,” she explains. “It was very much about me being a mother and [the] strong, unusual bond with the kids. Even though Eran really helped me—he’s a big part of my work technically and conceptually—I felt it was more about me and the kids, the three of us as one unit.”

Her children are now school age and Carucci continues to record their lives (an image from her more recent work on the right). “I am still photographing the kids, but it is in a different stage. Some of the images I am working on now have been shot outside. I moved outside because they’re moving away from me. I am following them into America.”

For the first time in New York, a solo show of Carucci’s Born is on view the Sasha Wolf Gallery through November 15. More of Elinor Carucci’s work can be viewed at her website, www.elinorcarucci.com.

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On April 5, 2011, South African freelance photographer Anton Hammerl disappeared while covering the revolution in eastern Libya. For weeks his family, and the world, held out hope that he was alive, believing he had been captured by the Gaddafi regime. Then on May 19, Hammerl’s family discovered through eyewitness accounts that he could not have survived injuries he sustained while photographing a battle between rebels and Libyan soldiers.

Unai Aranzadi

Anton Hammerl at work in Brega, Libya.

Last week, a fundraising website, Friends of Anton, was launched in an effort to raise money for Hammerl’s family. Renowned photographers, including João Silva, David Burnett, Kenneth Jarecke, Bruno Stevens, Yunghi Kim, and Todd Heisler, have donated prints in support of their fallen colleague. The photographs can be purchased through the Friends of Anton website.

Hammerl, 41, a former picture editor and photographer for The Saturday Star in Johannesburg, South Africa, is survived by his wife Penny and their three children: Aurora, 11; Neo, 7; and 6-month-old Hiro.

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