Customs and traditions: the originality of Estelle Hanania’s photographic work appears in the fact that it focuses on the european vernacular rites in a very unique way. Unlike the anthropologist or pure documentarist, she doesn’t try neither to understand nor to decode the mystery of those rites, letting them pass trough her camera.
A procession of giants in a field, a magician in a parking lot, a wild cave… The shadows of a singular identity are standing as a non-exotic setting yet revealing themselves as an hallucination.
Graduated from Les Beaux Arts de Paris, the 2006 award-winning photographer in Hyeres Festival Estelle Hanania is not afraid by the beauty, the pure aesthetics of the clothes or the masks. She knows how to keep a human distance to the subject, in a natural light, in silence.
Her photographs are portraits and landscapes of men becoming animals or plants, as many chimerical figures embodied in our absurd contemporary world.
In the background appears a car, a road, a parking lot: such as banal infrastructures and unspectacular places. Extraordinary rituals required in an ordinary community, a present in syncope, nested in the reality as a strange lichen growing on a concrete wall.
First monograph dedicated to the work of Estelle Hanania, Glacial Jubilé features six sets of photographs taken in Switzerland, Bulgaria, the Basque Country, Italy and Austria between 2006 and 2011.
Published by Shelter Press, 160 pgs, 19 × 24 cm, Colour Offset, 2013,