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Armani / Silos

Giorgio  Armani  announces Fabula by Charles  Fréger, the new exhibition of Armani/Silos

Armani Silos - Fabula, Charles Fréger


Giorgio  Armani is pleased to announce a new exhibition at Armani/Silos, devoted to the work of photographer Charles  Fréger. Entitled  Fabula, the  extensive  anthological endeavor documents the  width  and  depth of the  French photographer’s ongoing research  ,  as much encyclopedic  as poetic , into different communities, the individuals  who make  them  and  the dress codes they adopt in order  to be part  of a group. The exhibition will open on January  12th  during  Milano  Men’s Fashion Week and  will last until March 24th, 2019.nThe whole  ground floor of Armani/Silos will act  as a backdrop for over two hundred and  fifty images, the  first retrospective  of such size and  scope devoted to  the  French  artist. Specimens  of Fréger’s wide-spanning photographic  work,  from  the  early  Water  Polo  swimmers  series of  the  year  2000 to more recent images  taken  in 2016, such as the Mardi Gras Indians series. The display  will put  the  different groups  of  images  in dialogue with  one  other  creating a  visual protocol where  the  photographic portraits  and  the  uniforms  coexist  and  the  emphasis  is placed on the  increasing theatricality of the  author’s oeuvre. The selection includes  portraits  of the  Finnish ice-skating team (Steps),images of young Sumo wrestlers (Rikishi),a document of European armies and their uniforms (Empire), images of Sikh soldiers (Sikh Regiment of India) and  Jaipur elephants (Painted Elephants), to the  seminal  large  series of Wilder Mann  and  then  Yokainoshima, both  dedicated to masked traditions in relation to rural life. Each community has its own code, but the driving  principle behind the urge to express belonging through clothing is somehow common.,Fréger’s pictures  highlight such aspect. Adopting a stark and  straight  portraiture style, yet  keeping an  empathetic gaze  onto  his subjects, Charles Fréger explores the  dress codes of groups  both  small and  big, focusing on the  outer  strata clothing, masks  they  adopt. The photographer’s quest  is expansive: he starts from the  small and local  expanding his research  over the years to reach a universal dimension. Be it the white swimming cap of the  swimmer, or the  ritual  masks worn  throughout the  world  – Europe, Japan, Central and Southern  America – Fréger is  triggered by  the  way  humans  deal  with  deeply felt  fears  and  with the  need, or will, to  belong. Ultimately, his work  builds a growing codification of signs, highlighting the  power of  dresses as a  primal  means  of  non-verbal communication. What  makes  his oeuvre so startling  is the  involvement of the  photographer with the  subjects. At times Charles Fréger takes active part  in the masking  and  the dressing up, in order  to fully understand what he is investigating. Such human effort  translates into images  of powerful honesty, giving  back a captivating insight into the visual richness of mankind.

The vitality  of color  is what caught my eye first, drawing my attention to the work of Charles Fréger. That color, however, is no mere  visual feat:  it is a depiction of human energy. As a fashion  designer, I  know  clothing is charged with  a great symbolic meaning: Fréger constantly reminds  us of  that, scavenging the deepest aspects  of dressing up as a way of communicating. I am very happy to host such an exhibition at Armani/Silos,”  says Giorgio  Armani.

‘Exhibiting  at the Armani/Silos is a chance to introduce my photographic series since 2000 in a very inspiring space. It feels like visualizing the  works chapter by chapter, as if the  sublime  architecture of the  Silos was giving  the  rhythm  to the  photographic exhibition. There’s a sensation  of time  and evolution, a conversation with  the  rooms, the  grey  concrete walls and  the  precise  lighting  giving the  best  possible echo to  the  color  of my photographs. An echo which  is also at  stake  between the Armani  silhouettes gracefully displayed and  the uniforms, costumes  and  masquerades unfolded in the photographs,’ says Charles Fréger.The artist was born in Bourges, France, in 1975, and  graduated from the Rouen School of Art in 2000. His work focuses on the poetic and  anthropological representation of social groups such as athletes, scholars and  armed forces, with attention on what they  wear, the  uniform  being the  most external representation  of  the  group itself. Fréger  concentrates on  exuberance as well  as more  modest situations. He has published numerous  books and  exhibited in major  photography festivals, in several museums and  galleries in Europe, Asia and  the United States.

Fabula , Charles  Fréger

12th  January  – 24th  March  2019

Armani/Silos Via Bergognone 40 Milano  +39 02 91630010



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