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Book: Ode to the Lake Sacalaia

Book: Ode to the Lake Sacalaia

This first monograph by interdisciplinary artist and physician C Fodoreanu is a book of deeply personal photographs and writings, depicting images of water and people taken at Lake Sacalaia, a mysterious lake in Transylvania where underwater demons protect its secrets, exploring the tension of self-discovery and identity, queer or not, and the in-between states of one's self-awareness, paying homage to younger selves searching for faith and ideals, reconnecting to what holds one true to oneself, towards making sense of the loss of potential that he witnesses in his pediatrics practice.


This gorgeous book uses a haptic approach to represent the changing depths and pressure of water and self-examination, progressively moving toward thinner paper for each of the three sections of the book. The cover has three die cuts which trace the depth of the water from the lake’s topographic lines. The fifty-two images contained in the book are reproduced as tritones with the middle color section printed with a blue ink, and are bound via sewn otabind with square spine, dust jacket and flaps, sure to please the most formidable art book collector.



Seph Rodney, PhD - Senior Art Critic, Editor; Hyperallergic

Shana Nys Dambrot - Arts Editor; LA Weekly, and Artillery


Hardcover, 100 pages, 52 images

Sewn otabind with square spine, dust jacket and flaps

6.5 x 9.4 inches


Designed by Luminosity Lab

Published by Cornel/Henry Art

ISBN: 978-0-578-28372-2




San Diego Union-Tribune




Photobook Journal


  • Details

    The book is inspired by an old folktale about a small Roman village flooded by water after the collapse of an underneath salt mine about two thousand years ago. Lake Sacalaia formed as the deepest freshwater natural lake in Transylvania. The story says that when the lake water is clear enough, one can see the tip of the basilica, the highest point of the flooded village. Many have tried to dive in to reach the old village, majority to never return. During his childhood, Fodoreanu took multiple trips in rowboats over the lake in the search for the old basilica, and often wondered about the lost underwater divers.


    In his pediatric practice as a medical doctor Fodoreanu sees children beginning their life with great ideals and goals only to fail to achieve those due to a multitude of reasons (social, cultural, economic, and such.) As they grow older, children seem to lose themselves in becoming adults, seem to forget and dilute who they truly are or wish to be. Life starts happening fast, and most of the time they get caught in the circle and start running barefoot. They are forced to change into a shadow of what they once have dreamed of becoming. Hardly a handful of them make it to the finish line becoming who they really aspire to be, living their truth. 


    In the analogy with the lake, the divers who don’t come out are the lost souls, the unfulfilled potentials. They should be the ones reaching for the highest point - the basilica - only to drown instead. An alternative meaning for the divers is proposed in this book, in which their loss becomes the drops and grains adding to the lake they drown in, creating the foundation for the few able to sail over and achieve their goals.

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