Q&A: Eli Durst


Have you recently been living by any life philosophy? גמילות חסדים. What will baffle future generations about our day and age? Trump Presidency. Are you aware of any conspiracies? I might be aware of one that involved Russian hackers. What is it that interests you about photography? The way an image is both real and symbolic and the ambiguity between these two readings. What is the worst thing about city life? Smells. What part of the planet would you like to explore? Somewhere tropical. Or China. What do you think is the most plausible of the supernatural? Anything on the X-Files. If you had to align yourself with a leader in history, who would it be? Jimmy Carter. Pick a field of science to be an expert within. Marine Biology. What moment have you most wished you’d had a camera when you hadn’t? I’ll get upset if I think about this question for too long. Choose a job you would be willing to do for free on the side. Dog Walker. Describe the most important photo you’ve seen. Garry Winogrand’s “Hollywood and Vine”. How often do you take other people’s advice? Pretty often. Describe a personal hell. Being stuck for eternity in traffic. Which living person do you most admire? Maybe RuPaul? On what occasion do you lie? When no one gets hurt.

What was the last crime you witnessed? I saw someone litter yesterday. Does that count? What is the best way to educate yourself? School and reading. What is the next book you want to read? Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders. Ultimate camera? Hassleblad X1D 4116 Edition. Most used camera? Nikon D810e. What object do you want? Wireless headphones. What object do you need? Glasses (or contacts). How would you explain the internet to someone from the 1950’s? Certainly not with this video of Katie Couric and Greg Gumbel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRsv8nIUZJo. Are you satisfied with your level of physical strength? Definitely not. Describe a cheap thrill. Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point amusement park. Pick an historic moment from the last hundred years to bring a camera to. The first time John Lennon met Paul McCartney. Are impulses more important than consequences? No, although I suppose it depends. Which talent would you most like to have? When I was growing up, I desperately wanted to be in a band. Unfortunately, I’m completely tone deaf and so unmusical. What is your plan for the next 24 hours? Hangout with my newborn niece.

Eli Durst was born and raised in Austin, TX. After graduating from Wesleyan University in 2011, he worked at the renowned fine art printing studio Griffin Editions in Brooklyn while also serving as an assistant to street photographer Joel Meyerowitz. Eli received an MFA in photography from the Yale School of Art and is the winner of the 2016 Aperture Portfolio Prize. See more of Eli’s work at: elidurst.com