Axel Hoedt's Once a Year offers a series of photographs of traditional German festival costumes, a sort of project that has become more familiar with the recent work of Charles Freger, Estelle Hanania and Phyllis Galembo. Hoedt's work falls more inline with Hanania's approach, yet his take is his own. With a background as a fashion and portrait photographer, Hoedt's photographs revel in the strangeness of their subject matter. A good fashion photographer isn't simply looking for beauty, but the moment where clothing transfigures the person wearing it -- a transformation perhaps never more powerful than with costume. Photographed against white backdrops or in the streets in both black and white and color, Hoedt's atmospheric images invite you to look, yet not in the same way documentary images do. In these images it is possible to see something beyond the garment. Momentarily still, Hoedt's photographs allow us flashes of a centuries old world hidden in the experience of otherness of this once a year tradition.
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