Romanian Sayings Served Up on a Plate

The Fish Rots From Its Head – Only Truth Will Empower and Set Us Free


The Fish Rots From Its Head – “Peștele de la cap se împute” – is a Romanian saying found in many other cultures, that is widely understood. The Romanian proverbs are an inexhaustible source of truth that had existed for thousands of years but is still present today.

About HOW TO SAY without SAYING.

My new conceptual photographic series Romanian Sayings Served Up on a Plate – is intended to open a conversation considered taboo for too long, and puts the magnifying glass on pieces of truth, intended to open the eyes of the viewer, in order to ask questions, to find the truth himself.

The conceptual photography genre that I have approached can cause several reactions to the viewer, of which I present the most relevant ones.

The first reaction denotes ignorance and superficiality – I know this truth, but I’m not interested because I don’t want to accept it, which sounds something like this: omul nepăţit, chiar văzând nu vede” which can translate to when something didn’t happen to a man, even if he sees he doesn’t see. Facing reality can be painful so we prefer to remain ignorant.

The second reaction is repulsion – it’s also a form of denial that denotes the fear of the truth – I feel this truth, but it’s too harsh to accept it, or accepting the truth can put me in danger. We prefer not to look. From here comes the fatidical acceptance of fate, believing that we can change society, described very well by the saying ”rabdă inimă și taci, că n-ai alta ce să faci” translated in, shut up heart and endure, you can’t do anything else.

In both cases, the viewer feels embarrassed, and it denotes a vulnerability that he rejects because if accepted it would cause suffering, a confrontation that he avoids. It is a denial that leaves the impression of safety, that the world in which he lives cannot be touched by this harsh truth.

A typical Romanian reaction would be to make a mockery. Like the saying since the world, râsul te râde și batjocura te batjocorește , meaning laughter laughs at you and mockery mocks you. Also used as a self-defense mechanism.

The desired reaction, makes the viewer think. It’s also the goal of a conceptual artistic series, to push the viewer into a state of contemplation, that will lead the viewer to search, find, and choose the truth, which otherwise would not have been perceived. Adevărul iese ca untdelemnul deasupra apei”, meaning that truth emerges like oil on water. You just have to learn to see the truth.

The overall message that I am trying to give with my SERIES Romanian Sayings Served Up on a Plate is that we have to make the effort, however painful can be, to ask questions, to think, to analyze, to search, to follow our heart, and to accept the truth whatever the consequences. To choose and stand by our truth with dignity and courage.

Only truth will empower and set us free.



All Rights Reserved 2023 DACIANA LIPAI © – The Dead Man Is to Blame – Romanian Sayings Served Up on a Plate


Feel free to share this with your art-lover friends or with anyone who can use a nice word. Leave a comment or drop me a line. I would love to hear from you.

Want to learn more about the photopoetry books? You can check out more here.

Interested in adding a fine art photopoem to your collection? You can check out more about my fine art prints here.

Lots of love, Daciana


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