For twenty years now Lois Hechenblaikner has been photographing the fans at Austrian folk music festivals. On his travels he has visited more than a hundred festivals, open-air concerts and fan gatherings. Hechenblaikner's particular passion is 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-one longs for a feeling of security and above all the chance, be it only for a few hours, to leave all the problems of the world behind.Hechenblaikner sees August Sander as an important role model for his work: both follow the motto "see, observe, think." In Volksmusik Hechenblaikner employs this approach as well as 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 mentalities and life stories. von Hechenblaikner, Lois
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