As Carnival season transformed the streets of Germany, Loredana Nemes set up a chair and black backdrop at the Aachen City Hall. Here, she picked people from the pandemonium of the crowds and asked them to sit for a portrait. Dressed in costumes for the celebrations of Weiberfastnacht (Women's Carnival) and Rose Monday, her subjects were now able to embody their roles on yet another stage.
Nemes intuitively sought out those who were dressed up in the least elaborate manner. Out of the vast array of costumes that enabled their wearers to live out a phantasy alter ego for the day, it was those in only minimal disguise that drew the photographer's eye. The distinct certainty of their inhabited roles invites a broad spectrum of associations – every observer is likely to see something different.
Like skilled actors, Nemes' subjects combine a strong presence with the ability to obscure their real selves. In their vulnerability, they seem unobtrusive and difficult to grasp. Despite their willingness to reveal themselves for a brief moment on the photographer's 'stage', they carry their true identity like a hidden, precious secret.
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