Charles Fréger visited 18 European countries in search of the mythological figure of the Wild Man. His strange and beautiful photobook, Wilder. Sean O’Hagan: Charles Fréger feeds a revival of interest in the savages, devils, straw men and hybrid figures who people the folk traditions of. Charles Fréger’s most recent works cycle led him to eighteen European countries in search of the mythological figure of the wild man: Austria, Italy, Hungary.
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Photographic Series | Charles Fréger
McLiam Wilson notes that the more connected we become to the here and now in the hectic push and pull of the online world, the more we seek out the traditional, the ancient, the authentic. It is the photographs, though, that resonate most. That the “wild man” is flickering back into life surely tells us something about our need for myth, ritual and tradition.
You may be also interested in: Ancient skills and lores, dilettante survivalism and how-to historicism …”. Show 25 25 50 All. The costumes mqnn represent the devil, billy-goats, wild boars or the Grim Reaper; they utilize masks, horns, bells, animal materials such as fur and bones, and plant materials such as straw and pine twigs.
Savage, beautiful and surviving: photos from the wild side
Please send me a hard copy of the current catalog. This weekend, Aberystwyth Arts Centre is jann to the inaugural Eye international photography festivalwhich features talks, discussions, interviews and exhibitions featuring, among others, Magnum photograher David Hurn, the Guardian’s Eamonn McCabe, and various photographers belonging to the Panos Pictures Agency, one of whom, Chloe Dewe Feeger, I will be interviewing onstage on Sunday morning.
Gordon has a great photo of the current Burry Man, John Nichol, in costume and looking rather unsteady at the end of his epic walk.
Timothy Taylor Gallery is showing 32 seldom-seen Diane Arbus photographs. InPhyllis Galembo’s photobook Maske presented her series on carnival masquerade costumes from Africa and Haiti, while Leah Gordon’s Kanaval focused on the archetypal characters who make up the pre-Lenten carnival in Jacmel, Haiti. The Burry Man is always accompanied by a group of children, who collect money from house to house on his behalf.
There has also been a general revival of interest recently in the various folk traditions of Cjarles, Europe and beyond, which has been reflected in contemporary photography.
Ancient skills and lores, dilettante survivalism and how-to historicism …” There has also been a general revival of interest recently in the various folk traditions of Britain, Europe and beyond, which has been reflected in contemporary photography.
A stuffed man from the Basque country seems to hark back to Picasso and the Surrealists rather than any older folk archetype. Booking, general info and full programme here.
He makes his annual appearance at the Ferry fair in Queensferry, Scotland, every August and his name derives from the costume he wears, which is made from burrs taken from the burdock plant. He has photographed the “wild men” in colour in their natural habitats, against mountains and blue skies, in misty fields, and on the shores of still lakes. The Dondolasi and Zvoncari bell ringers of Croatia wear huge horns and animal masks that often have a huge red tongue protruding, while the Romanian wild men, the Urati, easily live up to their wilde, which translates as “ugly people”.
He devotes his work almost exclusively to portraiture, especially the study of uniformed and costumed collectives, and in particular the shift of their members’ identities from independent individual to conforming part of the community.
Loading comments… Trouble loading? This is a strange and beautiful book, then, and one that suggests a near-lost world of myth, ritual and tradition that has — only just — survived into the digital age.
The transformation of human to beast is a central aspect in pagan rituals passed down over the centuries that celebrate the turn of the seasons, fertility, life and death — some still alive today in carnival or Advent traditions.
Subscribe to Kehrer newsletter: Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded. Topics Photography Sean O’Hagan on photography. Order directly from the publisher: We are pilgrims seeking the past, the genuine, the individual.
In this, she is following in the footsteps of Homer Sykes, who photographed British traditions and rituals throughout the 70s and 80s. You can see his take on the Burry Man here.
He has two attendants, who carry his flower poles and steady him when he wileer drunk one too many glasses of whisky, which are offered to him by people who believe the gesture will bring them good luck.