Earlier this year at A Year In The Country I talked about the similarities between the yetis/abominable snowmen from vintage Doctor Who and the folkloric costumes in Charles Fréger’s Wilder Mann book.
At the time I said:
“…many of the costumes in Wilder Mann could well be escapees (prototypes?) for the 1970s British BBC costume and creature effect department.”
And then I came across the photographs of folkloric costume in Estelle Hanania’s Glacial Jubilé book, which seems to take those similarities and… well, it looks the escapees have arrived…
After advancing across the land, as was often the way with those vintage Doctor Who invaders, these creatures are wandering down the high street and through the city centres…
And alongside the photographs of of the folkloric costumes in Estelle Hanania’s Glacial Jubilé, there are intriguing location photographs of caves and strangely shingled and shuttered houses, that make me think of battening down the hatches against the creatures…
For myself there seem to be two quite separate but interlinked strands of folkloric costume and rituals books:
The more documentary like ones that focus on British folklore that can be found in books such as Once A Year by Homer Sykes, Sarah Hannant’s Mummers, Maypoles and Milkmaids, Henry Bourne’s Arcadia Britannica: A Modern British Folklore Portrait, Merry Brownfield’s Merry England and the archival collection of Benjamin Stone’s work, A Record Of England.
Alongside these are the photography books/projects which focus more on European folklore such as the just mentioned Charles Fréger’s Wilder Mann and Yokainoshima – Island Of Monsters, Axel Hoedt’s Once A Year and Dusk and Estelle Hanania’s Glacial Jubilé.
Although I suppose that both sets of books are essentially photographic portraits of folkloric costume but just in different locations, however the exoticness that is leant to the European focused ones by me not being as familiar with their costumes, rituals and aesthetics seems to separate them for me.
Also, the European focused books seem in part to be more a reflection of fine art like take on photography, to be partly an expression of the photographer’s own creative intent and stories as well as being documentary in nature
That seems to be particularly so with Axel Hoedt’s and Estelle Hanania’s work.
Along which lines, at the Shelter Press website, who published Glacial Jubilé, Estelle Hanania’s work is described as being:
“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 in a non-exotic setting yet revealing themselves as an hallucination.”
Local Places Of Interest:
Day #19/365: Once a Year – Homer Sykes
Day #66/365: Sarah Hannants wander through the English ritual year
Day #69/365: Charles Frégers Wilder Mann and rituals away from the shores of albion
Day #272/365: Axel Hoedt’s folkloric club kid rogues gallery and symbolic expulsions…
Wanderings #2/52a: Merry Brownfield’s Merry England / The Eccentricity Of English Attire
Ether Signposts #5/52a: Homer Sykes Once A Year And A Lineage Of Folk Custom Wanderings
Ether Signposts #32/52a: Charles Frégers Yokainoshima – Island Of Monsters
Ether Signposts #43/52a: Axel Hoedt’s Dusk And Final Celebrations