Dan Hayon - Romanian Rapsody

Dan Hayon – Romanian Rapsody

“I am fully aware that there is nothing original in my work. Jim Jarmusch put it so well in words: “Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery – celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.” When I’m asked about my approach to photography, this is the best description I could offer.”

I always have a small compact camera in my pocket when I am dream walking. Images pop-up from anywhere and ask me to take them with me and I just can’t refuse. I really don’t care if they will be over or under exposed, badly composed or plain stupid… Back home, I put them inside hundreds of little boxes and leave them there to get old in the dark like bottles of wine.

Once in a while, an indefinite feeling takes over me, triggered, or stolen – as Jim said – from an old film, or a new film, some music, a book, a painting, a photo, a poem, a dream, a random conversation, a street sign, a tree, some clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows… Slowly, that feeling becomes the outline of a story. Only the words are missing. So I will look into my boxes and pick up some of those forgotten images captured in so many different places and at so many different moments… They will be the words that will let me understand what my story wants to say.

Over or under exposed, badly composed or plain stupid, if they fit together well, like the pieces of a puzzle, then I know that the time has come for them to see the light.”


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“I’m a self-taught Romanian photographer and I live in Paris today. I have had several occasions to show my work, here and there. I had few photos published in some magazines and I made a number of books – for my own pleasure. I also have a cat. He is the only one that unconditionally likes all I do. You can see my pictures at: hayon.typepad.fr” An interview with Dan Hayon (b. 1947) you can find on madaboutportraits.blogspot.fr and on paper, in Romanian, in Punctum 2.