alain delorme: totems
alain delorme: totems alain delorme: totems
sep 08, 2010

alain delorme: totems

totem #8 all images © alain delorme




alain delorme: totems magda danysz gallery, paris september 4th to 25th, 2010



french photographer alain delorme‘s newest series of photographs is entitled ‘totems’. the images were captured during two art residencies (supported by ailing foundation) de lorme participated in shanghai throughout 2009 and 2010. fascinated by migrants’ loads, he has photographed piles of stacked ‘made in china’ products which form unusual sculptures, symbols of a form of fetishization of the objects themselves. the verticality of these formations echoes the incessant expansion of the urban area, constantly under construction. here, de lorme gives a new vision full of humor and poetry of those porters – both super heroes and ants with impressive loads of tires, water containers, office chairs, flowers… distanced from the typical photos of china portraying  immense crowds, he has focused on the individuality of these workers, as opposed to all those identical and interchangeable objects.



totem #2



photography historian, raphaële bertho 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.’



totem #5



totem #15



totem #13



totem #4



totem #7



totem #12



totem #1



l-r: totem #3 and totem #9

  • wow – great photos!

    jerry waese says:
  • great photos about china

    tom says:
  • super! great pictures!

    sonia verguet says:
  • incredible

    tattie says:

    Henk says:
  • fake

    uno says:
  • photoshop…. I’ve never seen the sky so blue and the streets so clean in shanghai;
    It’s a shame cause the pictures could have been really good

    Lillian says:
  • Look at the shadow.

    nn says:
  • what are you guys talking about?
    photoshop or not, that’s not the point at all.

    anon says:
  • SUPERBE ! The message is all there !

    Jean-Pierre Pérusse says:
  • Exactly nn and anon!
    I think we’re kind of missing the point of these photographs! How incredible is it that these men and women continue to transport large piles of ‘stuff’ in this manner?! That in itself is an art – being able to balance all these things in such a way that still makes it possible to bike or pull by rickshaw. The environment in which this is happening in the context of the rest of the world makes such an impact. Beautifully captured as well. Wonderful!

    Elle says:
  • Yep, photoshop. The weight alone on a couple of the loads would have popped the tires on those small bike wheels.

    Geezer... says:
  • Don’t think there are shop’d so much as they are just HDR…

    SagaciousT says:
  • Would that I could shop like that…
    I wood if I could but I can’t, so I will not even try.
    I like very much – wonderful power lines.

    Free Form Constructural Realism says:
  • fake i guess!!!!!!! not possible ……..this structure can’t take that much load

    riz says:
  • Creating pictures this considered, well composed and seamless in Photoshop is a craft. Not only that but do it over again to create a body of work that where each image stengthens and compliments the last is a skill only an artist can achieve. Photoshop is a medium just like paint and clay. For those that doubt the talent of the creator – download a trial copy and lets see the results.

    Nobody you know says:
  • Right on nobody you know, well said and anyone who can’t get that message is the fake screaming fake.

    Playpunk says:
  • great china in great photos
    How perfect engineers who can ride this wheels

    ozzy says:
  • @riz and geezer
    i live in beijing and i’ve seen piles even bigger
    it’s amazing
    the other day i saw a guy carrying so much styrophoam he’s pile was higher than the bus and the trucks next to it!

    cz says:
  • SOOO GOOOD!!!!!!!!!!
    please continue… I love it

    Brígida says:
  • We always like to see what we want to see.

    JP says:
  • Very interesting images.

    T. E. Samad says:
  • Are these photo montage?
    Some of the shadows don´t seem to be real:(
    and the first one with flowers?
    on the bike? no tricycle?
    Can You make it? “)

    max says:
  • Nice but fake, all balance of load against physical laws

    jacopo says:
  • love it!

    Xoxo says:
  • Pardon me, while tricycles can be seen all around China carrying a lot of stuff but these photos are a result of photoshop.
    It is ok if the creator wants to ave some fun – but please do not make people believe that these are real photos.

    Saurabh says:
  • To all the “techy” criticism: Take a critical theory course.

    haha says:
  • fake or real.. i love it.

    garima says:
  • Cameras lie and so do photographers. Of course it matters if these are fake or not. Look at all of the writers lately who have been completely discredited because of fabrications that were not necessary to make their case. It would have been harder to find people carrying incredible loads–to do it in Photoshop is just lazy.

    Todd says:

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