Estelle Hanania’s images reflect a fascination with ritual, costumes, masks and folk traditions, exploring the eccentricity inherent to cultural beliefs and customs and casting her ethereal subjects in startlingly real portrayals. Men transform themselves into monstrous demons of leaves, sticks and moss, towering and unearthly beings of hair, or even become totem-like horned birds. These small bands of creatures wander through natural and urban landscapes at the onset of winter in certain regions of Europe – Switzerland, France, Pays Basque, Italy and Austria – warding off evil spirits. An interview with Alexis Vaillant lends insight into Hanania’s anthropological approach.
new edition, 2015