Tomas Bachot

Tomas Bachot

Tomas Bachot

Those who eat fish from the cyanide lake improve their sex life 

Self-published
Design: Maria Mitcheva
Three 165 x 240mm stapled booklets
Printed in full color offset on 80g Cyclus Offset Paper
204 pages
170 photographs
Edition of 500
2016

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From the Artist:

I met Matei during a student job in the chocolate factory of Malle, Belgium, in 2013. While piling up choco spread pots, he told me about the social debate related to the gold mines’ reopening in his homeland Romania. At his apartment Matei showed me pictures of the street protests against the foreign mining companies which came to Romania and pictures from Geamăna, a village flooded by the toxic waste of a mine. (…) In January 2015, I decided to take a bus to the Golden Quadrilateral in the Apuseni Mountains of Transylvania, shaped by the gold industry over the years.  

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Through Couchsurfing, I stayed at Irina’s house in Deva, in the south of the gold area. One day after dinner with her family I showed my pictures from the first trip. “These pictures have no value for me”, her mother said furiously. “They are a simple negative impression: remote, filthy, run-down…” It was difficult to hear that because I was their guest, and I felt it was true. I came with having a preconceived image of this Romanian region and I was only looking for confirmation.

After seven trips my relationship with the people and the landscape shifted."

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Tomas Bachot has created a beautiful 3 piece visual poem – creating three books that work together in order to come and tell a photographic story.

The books are printed on newspaper like, thin paper, yet the printed images preserve their vibrant colors and overall feeling. The books all together collect in side them hundreds of images that vary in style and feelings. Sometimes it might feel as if the photos are all taken by different photographers, in different places or times which creates an interesting visual narrative, that keeps the viewer interested and curious.

Tomas stats that this project originally started as a documentary concept, where he wanted to look in to the Romanian gold mines, but turned into something more than that. His books, have that feeling of both documentary and the every day life, but it feels also like a journey or travel log. The images are both very close and personal but also far and detached at the same time, this type of photography and book sequencing, puts the artist and the photographer as the main character of this book.

You can feel the relationships that were made during his trips, the close moments he actually shared with these people, on and off camera, creating a visual story of not only the people he documents, but of culture, place, architecture, life style and human interactions. 

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The most interesting thing about this book project, is that fact that Tomas decided to brake it up in to three books (an idea brought up by the designer of the book Maria Mitcheva) – each working on their own, but also as a total project. The simplicity of the covers, the almost ‘no design’ look of simple text/font on a one color background stands far from what we see inside the book itself.  I found the zine like, stapled booklets a perfect book choice for this type of project and images – it ties the notion of the travel log and creates a feeling of notebooks of the photographer.

The images in the book, although some might be better than overs, overall create a unique visual story that tells a beautiful and poetic story of people and a place that I would never have access to – allowing me to learns and explore them in the only way I know how –Photos.

Another great feature in the books are the small interviews that run along the books. These conversations give yet another look into these situations and people – giving the images another layer of context that elevates them.

Feel free to grab a copy for yourself – you will not regret it!Get more info about how to get a copy here

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