Wilder Mann by Charles Freger until the 9th of June at FOMU Photo Museum Antwerp.
Who are these people, covered in heavy animal skins or straw skirts and adorned with cow bells or goat’s legs? Charles Fréger (born in France in 1975) accompanied traditional groups to remote, unspoilt places. The rituals create a sense of unity with the land, with the ancient customs and with each other. Fréger shows us a forgotten slice of European culture, which is as close as it is alive.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.