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  Daniel Anizon

About the Artist

Daniel Anizon was born in Nantes, France in 1947. After obtaining a Doctorate in Economics from Paris University in1973, Daniel set off on a three year trip around the world by himself. In 1984 Daniel discovered photography, and began to document his travels. Over the years, Anizon has traveled extensively in Canada, Russia,Vietnam, and Northern Europe.

Daniel Anizon received the "Prix Medicis Hors Les Murs" from the French government in 1987, enabling him to spend six winter months in northern Canada photographing trappers from Quebec to Alberta and the Northwest Territories.

"It was not the cold itself which step by step froze me, but the strange feeling of shrinking in the landscape. My body was like a thin steel wire hanging a few inches above the ground, while my frozen feet seemed to separate from the rest of my body and stick to the surface of the frozen lake."

Once upon a time in Northern Europe, around the year 1100 AD, there was a band of sailors and merchants. From the then wealthy ports of the North Sea and the Baltic - Bremen, Hamburg and Lubeck - they plied the seas as far north as the Latvian city of Riga and as far south as the shores of Portugal, trading wood from the north for wines from the south, metals and furs for sea salt. With their partners they created a European union, the Hanseatic League, an association of some hundred cities which survived for over 400 hundred years, until the end of the Middle Ages. No written text defining their rights and obligations was ever needed.

"There is a Russia that stands on its own. It is always alive in St. Petersburg or Norilsk Avenues, in Stalinist buildings or in the Moscow subway, or even in those enormous restaurant dining rooms still under soviet management, where I like to find myself, quasi-alone. There I can allow myself to dream of those good times which were hidden from us, just as the western world was forbidden to the Soviet people. A twisted tin fork in my hand, I move backwards into a world I was not supposed to know."

"...The more I travel, the more I am compelled by things I see only as I am passing them, on things I may have dreamed of doing in childhood or in a former life. I don't shoor souvenirs, I take photographs of my memory."

"A very few countries are as meaninful as Vietnam in the French and US collective memory. As a child during the 50's, I only heard of Vietnam from older people...In 1995, I started a series of four trips to Vietnam, maybe to wake up all those pictures which were buried somewhere in the depth of my memory."

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