Published by Steidl. Text by Wolfgang Ullrich, Martin Hochleitner.
For 20 years Austrian photographer Lois Hechenblaikner (born 1958) has been photographing the fans at Austrian folk music festivals. On his travels he has visited more than 100 festivals, open-air concerts and fan gatherings. Hechenblaikner’s particular passion is for the people who undertake long journeys barring no expense, just to get that little bit closer to their idols. It’s a phenomenon which sociologist Gerhard Schulze describes as “Harmoniemilieu,” where the desire for a perfect world becomes one’s sole and strongest driving force. In Volksmusik Hechenblaikner explores the possibilities of large-format photography to create a typology of the public at folk-music festivals. With careful precision he documents the facial expressions, gestures and clothing of his various protagonists, revealing their psychologies and life stories.
Have fun reads a sign on a ski run, a photograph of which opens Winter Wonderland. And fun we have exploring these images of Hechenblaikner's native Tyrol including masses of fans at a ski event, fireworks illuminating slopes at night, ski lifts in the off-season navigating rocky outcrops, and rubbish in the snow after a day of revelry. This book is a documentation of this landscape and an ironic look at the perversion of Alpine culture that shapes it in the interests of commerce.