I am very happy to be one of the 10 photographers chosen by FOMU to be part of .tiff 2016! Please check out my talented companions: Philippe Braquenier, Wiktor Dabkowski, Ode de Kort, Dieter De Lathauwer, Colin Delfosse, Miles Fischler, Matthieu Litt, Camille Picquot and Diana Tamane. Get your copy in the museumhop of FOMU or in the specialized bookshops!
“Those who eat fish from the cyanide lake improve their sex life.” These comforting words, spoken by the mayor of a Romanian village to Tomas Bachot, sparked the project of the same name. What had started as a photo-documentary about the reopening of the Romanian gold mines turned into an investigation into the nature of documentary photography itself.
Tomas Bachot approaches his subjects and the people that he photographs with great integrity and personal involvement. He rejects the bias of so-called “objectivity”. His lens is focused “among the people” and he delves deeply into the goldmine of visuals that results. Bachot is not afraid to make personal relationships. For this series, he travelled in a bus from Belgium to Romania with the people he photographed, sleeping in their living rooms rather than in hotels. By allowing himself to be guided by their perspectives, he shifted the boundaries of his own perceptions.
His photography is a house of mirrors in which the photographer and the subjects question each other continually, thereby providing oxygen to the reality behind the image. He digs under the skin of his subject but also beneath the many layers of his role as a photographer. Bachot’s narratives testify to his power as a photographic storyteller. For the twists and turns and mysteries of life, and for the imagination of the viewer, he demonstrates a warranted respect.
I would like to thank several people:
First of all, Anna Luyten, for her wise guidance during the project and her fine words describing my work.
Tony Waddingham for the great design and perfect print.
Caroline Vincart, Rein Deslé, Ingrid Leonard, Joachim Naudts and their team for the nice and professional handling of the collaboration.
The people who nominated me.