are taught to live up to the uniform they wear, which is why Charles Freger's latest collection of photographic portraits is so unusual. Without violating his subjects with his lens, Freger offers us an almost troubling intimate view of the human beings
behind uniforms designed not just to impress enemies but also to dehumanise their wearers, which is the fundamental point of uniforms. These photographs seem very simple, because of Freger's guile in the use of such basic portraiture techniques, redolent of the 19th century
, yet they are not simple at all. They are quite challenging on a number of levels. As a former soldier, they strike a cord with me: when I remember my old comrades, I remember them as the laughing boys they were, not as the granite-faced paratroopers whose presence sometimes made people uneasy. Freger took me back to that past with these photographs of young soldiers who, if only for that instant as they looked into the lens, seem to have forgotten...