This new monograph gathers 42 images documenting 3 years of photographs taken between 2011 and 2014 during the Purim holiday in the neighbourhood of Stamford Hill, London.
Kids wearing home made costums incarnating a wide range of human vernacular history and reality (from the pizza to the clown). Standing in the street they are revealing some cultural fantasies as well as the familiar invisible backgrounds of their neighborhood: a simple tree, a part of a brick wall, a locked door or a pavement. While the content of this book could appear a bit softer compare to her previous series, costums, masks, parade and most of Hanania's recurring subject are fully vivid here. To quote french rabbi Delphine Horvilleur, who signs a text at the end of the book : “Purim has the reputation of being a holiday for children. It is children, besides, that constitute the very matter of these photos even if the truth, in my opinion, is that Purim is an adult holiday. Children, in a way, act like a veil, like the ̒masks̕—in all senses of the word— disguising the holiday, making it up in order to hide the complex questions it raises. The fundamental issue of Purim is the question of appearance and of internal reality. On this day, we read a text called the Megillah of Esther, whose content should practically be censured for underage persons.”
Customs and traditions: the originality of the photographic work of Estelle Hanania (born 1980, lives and works in Paris) 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.