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Andrei Becheru

The Fountain

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I think you come to grasp a place better when you spend a considerable amount of time there; by seeing and listening to everything around you, you develop a constant connection, you react to it, and then, in the end, you distil everything; in my case, with images.

But, first of all, it needs to be a place where everything is found in abundance. It must be a wild territory. A piece of land with a vast history, a land that still bears the mark of past colonizations. A land battered by the tumultuous feet of several generations who lived, fought and died in this place.

When I started (around 2009), I did not view this material in the form of a project. I was traveling in the South of the country where I live, Romania, I had been exploring photography for two years already when I begun to gradually discover this place called Dobruja.

I had read some material, I had seen some documentaries about the Danube Delta, about the hardships which the people inhabiting this area have become accustomed to, or not. I came to know the story of a mining town built in Romania’s Communist era, hidden behind sedimented hills used for copper extractions.

It is difficult to approach the topic surrounding the prosperity of this mining town in the Socialist era, at this point, but one can track down the drastic consequences brought about by the Post-Communist period, consequences mirrored in the people who remained here, on this land ravaged by the effects of industrialization.

After more than a year of exploring this place and starting from a few “trigger” images which illustrate this scenery, I had the impression that I was beginning to discover and approach different subjects. I thought that these images made up a beginning of something that might subsequently crystallize into individual projects. I continued to photograph the day to day life in this scenery. I was conscious of the diversity of the images gathered, but I could not contain them; I felt the need to spread them out.

 

Bio

I, Andrei Becheru, was born in 1984 in Bucharest, Romania.

From early on I chose drawing and painting as means of expression. I completed my studies in the field of design at the National University of Fine Arts of Bucharest in 2007. Absorbed by a past aspiration, which, in the meantime, had become an inner necessity, I started taking photographs three years ago, first on film, and then adopting the digital medium.

One year into digital photography, I nostalgically returned to images on photographic film that had marked my memory.

Presently, I work as an art director for an online fashion store. In parallel with film photography, I began experimenting with moving pictures using an old video camera.

 

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One summer when I worked in a pub I had a colleague who never expressed one iota of joy or enthusiasm about anything. That is until the day a Smiths song came on the radio and she almost lost it, regaling me for the rest of the day about her all-consuming lust/love for Morissey and the various times she saw the band live in the 1980s.

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On April 8th of 1954, less than two years before his untimely death at the age of 24, promising young actor James Dean left New York and headed for Los Angeles in order to prepare for his first starring role in a Hollywood movie, as Cal Trask in East of Eden. The change of scene was unwelcome and, just a few weeks after arriving and clearly homesick, Dean wrote the following anguished letter to on-off girlfriend Barbara Glenn.

East of Eden was released in March of 1955, six months before Dean's tragic car crash; his leading performance as Cal Trask resulted in a posthumous Oscar nomination - the first of its kind - at the 1956 Academy Awards.

Transcript follows. Huge thanks to Abigail for supplying the scan.

Recommended reading: James Dean: At Speed.

Transcript
4.26.54

FAMOUS ARTISTS CORPORATION

Dearest Barbara

I don't like it here. I don't like people here. I like it home (N.Y.) and I like you and I want to see you. Must I always be miserable? I try so hard to make people reject me. Why? I don't want to write this letter. It would be better to remain silent. "Wow! Am I fucked up"

Got here on a Thurs. went to the desert on Sat., weeks latter to San Francisco. I DONT KNOW WHERE I AM. Rented a car for 2 weeks it cost me $138.00. I WANT TO DIE. I have told [Redacted] and 5 others like her to kiss my ass and what stench, spineless, stupid prostitutes they were. I HAVENT BEEN TO BED WITH NO BODY. And won't untill after the picture and I am home safe in N.Y.C. (snuggly little town that it is) sounds unbelievable but it's the truth I swear. So hold everything, stop breathing, stop the town all of N.Y.C. untill (should have trumpets here) James Dean returns.

Wow! Am I fucked up. I got no motorcycle I got no girl. HONEY, shit writting in capitals doesn't seem to help either. Haven't found a place to live yet, still living with my father--HONEY. Kazan sent me out here to get a tan. Haven't seen the sun yet. (fog & smog) Wanted me healthy looking. I look like a prune. Don't run away from home at too early an age or you'll half to take vitamins the rest of your life. Wish you cooked. I'll be home soon. Write me please. I'm sad most of the time. Awful lonely too isn't it. (I hope youre dying) BECAUSE I AM.

Love.

Jim {Brando Clift} Dean

My address is (fathers that is) is
1667 So. Bundy Drive
L.A. 25, Calif.

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