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Freger, Charles (Photographer) & Keating, Prosper (Contributor). EMPIRE: PORTRAITS PHOTOGRAPHIQUES ET UNIFORMES ("PHOTOGRAPHIC PORTRAITS AND UNIFORMS") . Berlin, Germany: Kehrer Heidelberg Berlin, 2009. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 180 pages. Fine.

Collection of color portrait-photographs. One of the most important titles in the iconic series of "Portraits Photographiques et Uniformes". The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions, particularly the 2010 French Edition and the "Vis Voluntatis" Edition. Published in a tiny first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now rare. A brilliant production by Charles Freger: Oversize-volume format. Pictorial hard boards with gilt titles printed on the cover and spine, as issued. Photographs by Charles Freger. Text by Prosper Keating in the French original and felicitous English translation. Printed on pristine-white, thick coated stock paper in Berlin, Germany to the highest standards. The reproduction quality is exquisite in its clarity, tonal range, and attention to detail. Without DJ, as issued. Presents Charles Freger's "Empire". Seminal portraits of elaborately costumed national guards, the enduring symbols of the Empire-Nation, in all its glorious pageantry, rigid protocol, and chauvinism. "Since 1999, Charles Freger has been photographing his contemporaries in the midst of their adoptive tribes. Placed before a neutral background, facing the lens, the model, wearing his or her uniform, poses within their own environment, but remains separate from the surroundings and its activities. Far from seeking an archetypal portrait of the subject at work, the photographer prises open a seam, the fleeting moment where the individual oscillates between his or her subjectivity and the identity imposed by the uniform that he or she wears" (Raphaelle Stopin). The Freger Style is documentary PLUS portrait. There is no question that his antecedent is August Sander, with a crucial, modern twist: His portraits present not so much a community (as Sander invariably does), but the individuals that give such community its form. As such, his work is neither purely documentary or sociological. His emphasis on individual particularity repudiates "globalization" and "the human family", the most beloved ideas of mainstream photojournalists, as nothing more and nothing less than a lie: Every single human being will always identify with a specific community. With this most exotic portrait of all, Freger poses to the viewer the same provocative and compelling questions: Why do I choose to belong to a tribe? Why do I adhere to its rules? Why do I believe in the necessity of social cohesion? Why do I express myself through others? A great portrait-photographer (whose only counterpart is Rineke Dijkstra), Freger is thereby an actively practising photographer of "punctum", Roland Barthes' aesthetic standard in "Camera Lucida" (1980), for what sets a photograph apart, its visual punctuation or detail, the "disturbance" and "wound" that the viewer does not immediately recognize, but eventually sees and comes to love about the photograph. An absolute "must-have" title for Charles Freger collectors. This title is a contemporary photography classic. This is one of very few copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing (published in 2009, with English translations) still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Please note: All other copies available online are either the Second Edition (in French only) or the "Vis Voluntatis" Edition, both published in 2010. A rare copy thus. Lavishly illustrated with color plates. One of the most brilliant photographers of our time. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER CHARLES FREGER TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 287811342X. $100.00

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