CIMARRON in Nantes, France

The first exhibition of CIMARRON is now opened at the Château des ducs de Bretagne, Nantes, France.
The book will be available early march with Thames&Hudson (UK, USA), ACTES SUDS (FR), Seigensha (Jp), Kehrer (Ger), RM (Sp)

All across the Americas, from the 16th century onwards, enslaved Africans escaped their captors and struck out on their own. These runaways, having found their freedom, established their own communities or joined with indigenous peoples to forge new identities.

Cimarron, borrowing a Spanish-American term for these fugitive former slaves, is a new series of photographic portraits of their descendants. From Brazil, Colombia, the Caribbean islands and Central America, as far as the southern United States, elaborate masquerades are staged that celebrate and keep alive the history and memory of African slaves and their creole or mixed-race descendants. Stock characters are portrayed in costume, or in grotesque or satirical representations. A huge variety of African tribal dress, wild ritual regalia and shimmering Mardi Gras outfits feature in breathtaking succession. Vividly coloured silks and cottons combine with woven fibres, leaves, feathers, and bodypaint; props include emblems of slavery and slavemasters – ropes, sticks, guns and machetes. These photographs record real people whose collective sense of memory, folk history and imagination dramatically challenges our expectations.

Charles Fréger’s work has established a large and growing following among connoisseurs of contemporary photography, defining a new genre of documentary portraiture that extends and deepens our sense of the human past and the present.

Dans le cercle, TROCADERO, Théâtre de Chaillot, Paris

Depuis près de vingt ans, Charles Fréger explore par un travail photographique sériel la relation de l’individu à la communauté. C’est dans cette même perspective qu’il a abordé le projet pour la commémoration du 70e anniversaire de la Déclaration universelle des droits de l’homme. Si la forme proposée n’est pas à proprement parler photographique, elle procède de l’impression d’un jeu d’ombres et de lumières sur un support : l’esplanade du Trocadéro, lieu emblématique de Paris, photographiée des milliers de fois par jour, est ici mis au noir. Tous les jours, de la tombée de la nuit à l’aube, sur la place rendue à la pénombre de la nuit, est projeté au sol un cercle lumineux dont la couleur, le diamètre et l’emplacement varient. D’abord de la largeur d’un homme, il balaie lentement la place tout en s’élargissant et s’empourprant graduellement selon un spectre ocre jaune, orangé presque rouge.
Une composition sonore, réalisée avec la collaboration du compositeur Teho Teardo, accompagne le ballet de ce disque de lumière au sol et invite les visiteurs à rejoindre l’espace à l’intérieur du cercle. La lumière devient objet d’interaction avec le public, l’engageant à se prendre au jeu de cette forme vivante et à en accompagner les pulsations, chacun à son rythme, ensemble dans le cercle. L’installation est réalisée grâce au partenariat avec Athem.

Mapping installation with Athem, Paris.
Sound by Teho Teardo.
A production of Théâtre National Chaillot

30 November – 10 december
Parvis des droits de l’homme, Trocadéro, Paris


Temporary exhibition, from July 7th 2018 to August 2019.

We are surrounded by natural forces and divinities. In Japanese masked rituals, costumes are worn to transform the wearer into a god, demon or animal. The exhibition creates links between the contemporary photographs of Charles Fréger, which depict a large number of ritual masked figures, and the museum’s Japanese collections.



JE RECHERCHE DES MODÈLES POUR UN PROJET PHOTOGRAPHIQUE À LYON, EN MAI/JUIN 2018. La date de prise de vue n’est pas encore définie mais il nous faut assez rapidement organiser un “casting”. Nous recherchons 20 modèles de 18 à 35 ans, hommes et femmes.

La prise de vue implique une préparation maquillage et costume.

Pour plus de détails, merci de me contacter par email:



This year is starting with some good news. YOKAINOSHIMA will be exhibited at the great Musée des Confluences in Lyon, France from June 2018 to August 2019. Yes, 14 months! Which will give you the time to visit this show where the photographs will meet the beautiful collections of the museum in a 700 m2 space all dedicated to the Japanese spirits. Still some month of work before the opening, but that’s a real chance to challenge the series and try to present it in another scenography. The series will be also displayed in Caen, at the Arthoteque, and the Musée de la Castre in Cannes. Same time, we’re now working on the next book, which will be the result of a four years research which started in New Orleans in 2014 and will finish this year in Central America. More about this very soon.


In Saint-Nazaire, Pays De La Loire, France, at the Galerie des Franciscains, you can visit the “VOYAGE ORDINAIRE” exhibition with the work of Ambroise Tézenas, Jérôme Blin, Denis Dailleux and myself. The show is organized by l’Art à l’ouest, in partnership with Abri Service and the city council of Saint Nazaire.
I’m showing the short “SCHOOL CHALO” (Let’s go to school) series, mainly produced in the very crowded streets of Chandni Chook Bazaar, New Delhi.

The Historical Epic of Joan of Arc

The new series “L’épopée de Jeanne d’Arc” will be at the Musée des beaux-arts de Rouen from the 19th of january to the 19th of february
This “silhouettes” series directly connects with “La suite basque” (The exhibition is still at the Musée Basque et de l’histoire de Bayonne – Baionako Euskal Museoa until the 5th of february) and once again the semiologic questions around the historical representations in our collective educations.
While representing each stereotype and cliché about the story of Jeanne d’Arc, this photographic shows the layers of the representation of this french historical icon thru its various silhouettes.
You can see the whole series on:

This series has been made possible with the help of Olivier Bériot (cinema costume maker), Laurent Dombrowicz (Stylist), Fred Duval (script writer), Christian Attuly (Hair) with the collaboration of the Théâtre des Arts de Rouen, La Chevalerie de La Breteque, les ateliers caraco, Laurent Tard et le Grand Parc du Puy du fou, Christophe Maratier et Maratier Armurier, Paula Cornejo et Straseria Cornejo, Mairie de Rouen, Lycée Jeanne d’Arc, Christiane Delacroix, Etienne David et Le ventre de l’automate, Sophie Haise (Le garage) and Martine Sadion du Musée de l’image à Epinal, Métropole Rouen Normandie

New series and new show at the Basque Museum, in Bayonne

“La suite basque” is now taking place in the historical town of Bayonne. Can I say that it’s probably my most experimental series which came same time with YOKAINOSHIMA and right after BRETONNES. Without the BRETONNES series, I would have never walked in this direction. It’s like if LA SUITE BASQUE was still made of the silhouettes of WILDER MANN, with its landscapes, but this time, the abstraction is holding a key on this work. There will be another silhouettes series exhibited soon, in Rouen, titled “L’épopée de Jeanne”. More soon.

This project following the invitation of Association COOP contains six photographic sequences titled: “Ainarak/Exiliados, Sorginak, Gernika, Irudi, La porte du Milieu”.

Texts by Marie Darrieussecq and introduction by Martine Sadion.

#lasuitebasque, ~#associationcoop, #charlesfreger, #euskalmuseoa

YOKAINOSHIMA at les Rencontres d’Arles

After WILDER MANN, YOKAINOSHIMA is the second chapter of my research about rural masquerades in the world. The book came out last month in Japanese (Seigensha), English (Thames&Hudson), French (Actes Sud) and Italian (Peliti). It will take a few weeks before seeing the book in the good bookshops, and you can already find it online.
Read more…