Alain Delorme — Totems
Past: September 4 → 25, 2010
Alain Delorme offers a very singular vision of China in the days leading to the World Expo in his new Totems series.
This work is the result of two residencies in Shanghai, supported by the Ailing Foundation. It shows the photographer’s fascination for migrants’ pressures. Piles of products labeled “Made in China” are stacked up to produce quite unusual sculptures, symbols of the Chineses’ a ever increasing fetish with objects.
Raphaële Bertho, photographic historian, writes about Totems: “These workers carry throughout the city. These precarious columns made of cardboard, chairs, bottles or tires appear as the new totems of a society in complete transformation, both a factory for the world and a new El Dorado of the market economy.”
The totems vertical nature echoes the incessant expansion of the urbanity — constantly under construction. The photographer gives a new vision full of humor and poetry of these porters, at the same time super heroes and ants with impressive loads. Far from the typical photos of China portraying crowds, he focuses on these workers’ individuality and uniqueness, as opposed to all of those indistinguishable and interchangeable objects.
Behind the blue sky and the vibrant colors of this new Chinese dream, we recognize the style of the author of the Little Dolls. Beyond this supposedly smooth portrait of China we feel a “worrying strangeness.” “Far from a hymn to materialism, these images highlighting the overabundance of objects tend to become absurd and point to the complexity of a society reinventing itself.”
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