Interview with the American artist, Jason Lazarus
– Creator of the collaborative anonymous photography project, Too Hard To Keep.
What’s the background of this image?
Landmines comes from a series I completed between 2010-2011 titled Senbazuru.
In Japan there is a tradition known as “Senbazuru” (literally 1000 cranes) that states, anyone who folds 1000 origami cranes will be granted a single wish by the gods. The cranes are usually strung together, and hung on the outer walls of a temple, where they slowly decay as they are exposed to the elements. It is believed that the sacrificed cranes will then carry the wish up to heaven, for the gods to receive.
I am an impatient American, so I decided to burn mine.
Between the 2 images from your last series, did you really waited in the desert for the sunset to come and the colors to change?
Yes that was it. The second is an early night shot which is possible to do when its full moon. I do it often but usually choose one of the two, but this time i had the feeling they could look well together if hanged next to each other.
Can you tell us more about these 2 images and your series ‘Safe Haven’ ?
The first picture shows two Peshmerga soldiers on a hill station outside Sulaymaniyah, the second largest town in the Autonomous Region of Kurdistan. I spend the day with two kurdish friends on the top of the mountain. Driving back we took the wrong street and ended up in this military zone.
What has been your best meeting in Cuba?
To be honest, my trip in Cuba wasn’t really in this perspective. It was more about friendship. We were just a bunch of friends, who wanted to explore this country. Of course we met some Cubans on the street, at some bars, etc. In Havana, because we were strangers, people were constantly asking for money in exchange of a service (at first supposedly free). Sometimes it was cool, like listening to Cuban music in a modest bar or buying clothes in an apartment. But most of the time it was exhausting. So we preferred to observe the city life from some distance at some point. And it was really nice ! In the countryside, it was different. There was less people and mostly tourists. So it was more about exploring the beautiful landscapes around Viñales. And when you’re a group of 6 friends, the relationship with locals is very different, more on the surface. But that didn’t prevent us to learn a lot about Cuba, to understand their way of life and to have a deep experience.
Valentier Astier – 25 years old french photographer, living in Montreal