Wilder Mann


Charles Freger - Wilder Mann

In 2010 and 2011, Charles Fréger (FR, °1975) crossed the continent in search of people who uphold ancient local traditions. Their rituals are variations on the same theme: the changing of the seasons, fertility or the struggle between man and nature. Fréger collects these masquerades under the header Wilder Mann, referring to a character from Germanic mythology. Being half-animal, half-man, born from the union of woman and bear, the wild man epitomizes man's animal side.

Fréger chooses his characters and locations carefully. Only natural materials such as straw, moss, animal fur or horns, bells and bones will do. As the costumes contrast, or blend, with the landscape, they are done full justice. Every detail has been studied; lighting and composition leave nothing to chance: the beasts appear in harmony with the landscape. The characters in Wilder Mann exude strength and virility and become etched on your brain.

Over a period of more than a decade, Charles Fréger has built an extensive body of work, Portraits Photographiques et Uniformes in which he portrays diverse groups of people. In Wilder Mann, he explores the boundaries of the portrait by only putting the masquerade on display.