Charles Fréger “BRETONNES”

Dates:February 10 – March 13, 2016 extended until April 10, 2016
Venue:MEM map
open hours:12:00-20:00 closed on Mondays [Tue. if the Mon. is a public holiday]
tel. +81 (0)3-6459-3205

【Artist Talk】
February 20th, 17:00 – 18:30 at MEM (Admission Free)
Guest speaker: Chihiro Minato (Photographer・Professor of Information Design, Faculty of Art and Design, Tama Art University・Aichi Triennale 2016 Artistic Director)
*French and Japanese version
*After the talk, reception party will be held at MEM

Charles Fréger’s Bretonnes photography series displays contemporary women wearing traditional Breton clothes. The dresses, sometimes dating back to up to two centuries, vary little from each other; it is the coiffe that is the real central element of the picture. The Breton coiffe was originally meant to both protect women’s heads against the vagaries of the weather and cover their hair, as recommended by religion. Made with delicate fabric and sophisticated lace, it has evolved along the centuries and took many forms, until it eventually indicated the geographical origin or social status of women.
In this series, the photographic scene is of great importance and signification: each one depicts an activity, or part of the Breton life related to the headdress that is photographed. Staged, it is an act in its own, a theatrical performance inspired by Breton postcards and Nabi paintings. Using a silk screen between the model and the photo scene, Charles Fréger created a soft, blurred background that evokes the 20th century Brittany, while telling us of the history of the coiffe. The result is a delicate composition that reflects and highlights the headdresses’ fragile outline.
In pictures taken between 2011 and 2014, the series presents a total of 53 different coiffes.
Bretonnes is organized as an official exhibition within the regional partnership program accompanying the “Garden in Movement” Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions, held from February 11th to February 20th.

Charles Fréger specializes in photographic portraits and works since 2000 on portraits series of communities that can be identified by their uniforms, focusing on the duality between the individual and the group to which they belong. For his previous photographic series, Wilder Mann, the artist travelled around Europe to photograph the wild men, in an ancient ritual that is meant to bring fertility to homes, chase away the winter and summon the spring. Exploring our need and fascination for myths, the series touches on human instincts and bestiality.

Charles Fréger developed his professional network by self-promoting his meticulous work to magazines and photography editors, and creating the photography association POC (Piece Of Cake). His work, focusing on subcultures and communities, has caught the attention of art enthusiasts as well as professionals in the fields of cultural anthropology, ethnology and sociology.

Another exhibition by Charles Fréger:
Dates:February 19 – May 15, 2016
Venue:Ginza Maison Hermès Le Forum

Book Fair
Dates:February 18 – May 15, 2016
Venue:NADiff du Champ (Ginza Sony Building F6)

artist website