Alain Delorme – Totems
“This work is the result of 2 art residencies in Shanghai, supported by the Ailing Foundation. It shows the photographers fascination for the migrants’ loads. Piles of ‘made in China’ products stacked up producing quite unusual sculptures, symbols of a form of fetishization of the objects.
Raphaele Bertho, photography historian, writes about Totems: ‘these workers carry throughout the city unbelievable piles. 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.’
Their verticality echoes the incessant expansion of the urban area, constantly under construction. The photographer gives a new vision full of humor and poetry of those porters, both super heroes and ants with impressive loads. Far from the usual photos of China portraying crowds, he’s focusing on these workers’ individuality and uniqueness, as opposed to all those identical 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 this ‘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.'”
via Feature Shoot