Publishing the book “Noroc“
In Romania. ‘Noroc’ means both ‘good luck’ and ‘good health’. You say it when you drink a toast and when you leave.
Since 2009, I regularly travel in Romania. Most of the time hosted in private homes. Over the years I managed to meet people and gather images by traveling all around the country. The idea of making a book is getting more and more relevant.
In 2014, I started to collaborate with the Dutch designer -SYB-. Step by step we design the book. One year later after few dummies and cappuccinos, we are pleased with the result.
Today, I’m proud and happy to introduce you the book.
With your help, I hope to self-publish it in November 2015. The book presentation will be organized by the Tipi Book Shop during Paris Photo at Polycopies. The launch will take place in Brussels in this same bookshop devoted to self-published and small publishers photography books. News section will be updated as soon as I know the dates.
The book consist of a series of photographs and 4 triptychs foldouts each with a short story. It will include 84 color pages and a Swiss binding.
My starting idea was pretty simple: picture a country of Eastern or Central Europe that recently became member of European Union. The only condition was to be hosted by inhabitants to be immediately immersed in the local culture.
A first opportunity showed up in Romania. Marta and his family accepted to host me for three weeks. I made my first trip in 2009, in Horia a small rural village in the Moldova province of Romania.
Starting the second travel, my ‘objective reportage’ photography transformed into something much more personal. I was searching a subtle and circuitous way to show things. I begin to focus only on the surroundings and the people who hosted me. This allowed me to have more time to think and build the image.
My interest started to increase for peculiar and confuse photographs. Particularly ones that tend to create a loss of bearings. The photographic approach is documentary based but playing with images and the series allow me to add a fictional and incongruous layer. This create a more suggestive narration but the presence of raw clues make people free to interpret.
No Man’s Land
« When one thinks about it, what astonishes us about NOROC is not, in itself, particularly extraordinary. The subjects that startle us are quite commonplace, albeit here exhibiting the slight differences that make them seem anomalous. It is Van Turtelboom’s eye – a sort of lightning rod for ambient incongruity– that is the catalyser for the scenes that transpire.
Cognitive dissonance is a constant in his photographs. Indeed, while we are not surprised when we don’t understand things that are remote from our experience, we are conversely made anxious by an enigma involving anything that appears to be familiar.
The photographer keeps us on a tightrope that traverses the fine line between what we believe we know and that which seems strange. He has the power to convince us to follow him despite our vertigo and the loss of any points of reference. By means of his photography, he warns us that the world’s logic is nothing but an optical illusion. The time has passed for judgement: now we need to learn how to live a nomadic life in a sensory no man’s land. »
Jean-Marc Bodson, .tiff magazine septembre 2015
« The subject is handled as a contemporary documentary that by refusing formalism, introducing a reflective distance and mastering spaces and colors induces a reading. No demonstration, no proof, just an organization articulated with rigor that only photography can produce. Here photography is only a tool fading behind the point of view leaving it even more effective. Cédric Van Turtelboom through his pictures simply asks us to consider the world as odd that we might suddenly find it. »
Christian Caujolle, shot#11
Throughout the development of the project, I applied many contests where ‘Noroc’ has been highlighted. In 2010, the project was amongst the finalists of ‘Magnum Expression Award’ organized by Magnum agency. The next year ‘Noroc’ was selected for ‘Young Belgian Art Prize’ and exhibited at the Center for Fine Arts in Brussels. In 2012 I made an exhibition at BlankPaper in Madrid. Two years ago the project was finalist and screened in Voies Off during Les Rencontres d’Arles.