Alain Delorme

by Friday, June 7, 2013



Alain Delorme was awarded the Arcimboldo prize. The series Little Dolls questions the identity of the little girls who are playing with their looks as contestants of beauty contests. Through a pixel surgery as Alain Delorme puts it, he captures and changes the girls’ looks and brings a sour criticism of how our society uses innocence.

Today, aesthetics is more present than ever. In a society where the image takes a full part in the daily environment, we’re facing a phenomenon of normalization.

The “Lolita phenomenon” keeps growing, really ingrained in our society. These baby women can be seen everywhere: on TV, in magazines, films, etc… Alain Delorme’s  series “Little Dolls” questions this phenomenon.

This work has been inspired by a photography of a little girl, taken for an advertising campaign of the multinational company Mc Donald, an apostle of the standardization of the way of life. This little blond head for magazines, as sterilized as the cake in front of her, was being offered a Barbie doll in the end of the shooting. This gave the artist the idea of hybridizing her face with the one of the toy. A body mutation operated by computer tools, in the same artistic line as Aziz and Cucher or Inez Van Lamswerde. Creative works where one plays with pixels as a scientist does with genes, to recreate the Man, the child here, at will.

In 2010 Alain Delorme has been granted the Ai Ling Foundation residency program and has since then made multiple trips to China in order to prepare his series Totems.

The new Totems series by Alain Delorme plunges us into the core of contemporary China and its complexity.  Under the blue sky of a highly colored Shanghai, men carry throughout the city unbelievable piles. These precarious columns made of cardboard or chairs appear as new totems of a society in complete transformation, both a factory for the world and a new El Dorado of the market economy.

Like Eugène Atget did in Paris at the turn of the century, Alain Delorme seems here to draw the portrait of the small workers in the Shanghai streets. While one is usually fascinated by the delusion of grandeur of Chinese society, Alain Delorme chooses to focus on the individuals running around the city. In terms of form, the author diverges from a documentary style and its affected neutrality, still adopting some frontality. The image is organized in horizontal strata, like in an archeological section. From the sidewalk to the building, the grounds are positioned at intervals and allow different urban temporalities to coexist: the everyday life, the ephemeral, the unceasing move of the passers-by, and the great transformations, building sites and new towers. Beyond the balance of these compositions, the author breaks the rules of the documentary genre, playing with the edit and the color to present us a type of “augmented reality”, bringing into light the paradoxes of the most dynamic city of China.


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