curated by Mariateresa Cerretelli

Wilder Mann, is a series which investigates the rites and rituals rooted in every corner of Europe in countries such as Bulgaria, Finland, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Hungary, England and Ireland. It is a study on the dark and wild side of the man which has never subsided and that emerges in masked, threatening grotesque, or nightmare disguises or in a more benevolent and funny version where the human appearance is overwhelmed by layers of straw or sackcloth to recreate scarecrow swollen like balloons.

An ancient phenomenon revisited in a contemporary key where the wild man wears masks and zoomorphic goat horns to dive deep into the animal-skins. They are rituals and pagan traditions linked to the seasons and agriculture and take place especially during winter in the shorter days of the year when they invoked the return of the sun and spring. Charles Fréger states: “Drive away winter symbolically means to banish death. It is a time when you have more awareness of your own mortality, is the time that accompanies the cycles of life with dances and the meeting of the collective communities. To me the cycle of life is to live the masked”.

(from a text by Mariateresa Cerretelli)