Elinor Carucci
and if I don't get enough attention, 2002

Lately I've been thinking a lot about the relationship between love and pain. This morning I looked at Elinor Carucci's feature on Women in Photography and it sort of hit me. Here she shows her bodies of work Crisis/Pain, which highlight a tumultuous time in her marriage and her severe back pain. I like how she pairs up both subjects and the metaphor of her physical back pain in relation to that abstract emotional pain that consumes you and it is indescribable. This really spoke to me:

"The physical pain and the emotional pain came to an end around the same time. I learned a lot during that time, and the photographs function not only as a memory but also as a reminder of what can crawl into life so quietly and have such a massive effect, because it was all there, in the photographs, sometimes even before I knew it."

Elinor Carucci
after argument, 2003
Elinor Carucci
Pain #8, 2003

We all know that love can bring pain, and we all know about heart breaks, break ups and and disappointments. I am more interested in love and our ability to induce pain, to hurt. Love, inherently makes you all the more capable of hurting. That is, to hurt others and and to get hurt.

I find it ironic that love and pain, polar opposite feelings, can be so co-dependent. The more you love someone and the more they love you, the greater the pain you are able to cause/experience. It seems counter productive, like going on a road trip and purposely renting the car without the air bags. See, the thing about love is that you don't truly love someone until you allow them hurt you, to rip you apart. What I mean is that there is no greater expression of love than trusting and opening up your heart to someone to such a degree that if they wanted to, they could hurt you right there and then, more than anyone ever has, ever. 

Rafael Soldi
Panic, 2010

I've been on both sides of the spectrum. I've hurt the person I've loved most, the person who has loved me most and to date I don't know why. I've also been hurt very badly, this past year has been one long dark stretch of painful day after painful day. So how messed up is it that such a beautiful thing can lead to such a disastrous results. All along it is love which fuels our ability to induce pain? (this is not to say that love is an excuse to hurt somebody).

But perhaps even harder for me has been living with love and pain simultaneously. Just like love fuels pain in a relationship, paint fuels love in your soul... at least from personal experience. There is nothing more painful than knowing you've hurt the one you love, and it only makes you love them even more.

Rafael Soldi
The Last Embrace (L)
Aftermath (R)