They look like the holy halls of a cathedral or the dance halls of baroque castles, the festival tents of the famous Oktoberfest. At least in the impressive pictures of the photo artist Michael von Hassel, who has photographed exactly 15 of these temporary amusement buildings for his series “Oktoberfest Cathedrals” since 2010. Without beer-loving hordes of visitors, without a brass band or servers lifting beer mugs.
The effect, promoted by atmospheric lighting and sophisticated perspectives, is astonishing for two reasons: the gigantic size becomes apparent - more so than when full - and the viewer involuntarily thinks of houses of worship at home and abroad, even without the title of the series. Only that in the Schottenhammel or the sunken hippodrome, which Hassel was able to immortalize, they pay homage not to religion but to pleasure.
Despite graduating from the Benedictines, the photographer himself has a mixed relationship with the church, but nevertheless has a feeling for the power and atmosphere of sacred buildings.
And von Hassel can also lend a hand, as he recently said in an interview: When the raised beer benches in the Löwenbräu tent (5,800 seats!) bothered him, he put them back on the ground himself. All.
The results of his year-long project can be seen in the town hall gallery at Marienplatz 8 until October 10th, Tuesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is free.
Further works by Michael von Hassel can be found in the monograph “ Compendium ”, which was published by teNeues.
PS Indispensable so that the infamous Oktoberfest flu really doesn't stand a chance: the cashmere jacket from Allude with contrasting piping in fuchsia or our slightly coarser knitted cardigan. It's cuddly!
Photos: Michael von Hassel ; Allude