Alain Delorme: Murmurations

11 October - 7 November 2015
Alain Delorme, a French photographer, born in 1979, never ceases in making us doubt. Whether with his first successful series Little Dolls (2007), his second series Totems (2010), or his most recent series Murmurations (2014-15), the spectator is always left wondering where the truth ends and where  fiction begins. Alain Delorme manages to lure his viewers into reflecting upon a wide variety of current topics, debating via his works. As you can see by close inspection, the photo’s are quite deceiving and do not depict a flock of starling birds in formation but are actually built up of 100.000 plastic bags! With this project he challenges environmental issues as over-use of plastics.

A distant rustle, puffs of air: a swarm forms and rises in the breeze, drawing elegant arabesques in a sky full of shimmering reflections of light. At first, the works of Alain Delorme capture the magic of the first fleeting beauty of a flock of birds, a Murmuration. However, this initial charm soon vanishes when the viewer takes a closer look, notices the clever deception, and discovers what is really behind the graceful flocks, the sometimes aquatic, sometimes calligraphic shapes: thousands of plastic bags, meticulously arranged by the artist, their massive presence threatening to asphyxiate the horizon.


This work is located at the crossroads between various visual cultures and diverse artistic heritage, primarily cinematic: Murmuration seems like an improbable blend of the sight of the plastic bag which in American Beauty (1999) swirls around almost hypnotically, and the vision of The Birds in Hitchcock’s great classic from 1963. Both play with the reversal of perspective: the Master of Fear builds his plot on the inexplicable aggression of actually harmless animals, while the scene captured by the amateur filmmaker seems to unveil the beauty and delicacy of an otherwise ungainly object.

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