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Once a Year.
Photographs by Axel Hoedt.
Steidl, 2013. 104 pp., 83 color illustrations, 7x8¾".

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2013 by:
Publisher's Description

Selected as a Book of the Week by Michael Schmelling

It is carnival in south-western Germany: On the streets of Endingen and Sachsenheim, Kissleg and Singen, Wilfingen and Triberg, the elaborate and lavish costumes of the Swabian-Alemannic tradition are paraded. The fashion and portrait photographer Axel Hoedt from the area of Breisgau in Germany shows the carnival revellers and their disguises beyond established clich├ęs and radically breaks with carnival iconography. No breath taking somersaults in front of the crowds and romantic timber framework, no crazy goings-on but revellers in earnest pose, in front of a bright background, in a forest or in front of customary functional buildings. Classical studio shots, Polaroid snapshots and still life images are juxtaposed. Hoedt regularly confronts the quaint masks with the wintry-rigid scenery impressions and reminds us of what carnival used to be: a last jamboree before the dawning of hard times.

Read Sarah Bradley's review of Once a Year on photo-eye Blog.


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