Authority, Better city, better life.
Created by the French photographer Eric Leleu (b. 1979) , the series Subtitles (re)invents the story of hengfu (橫幅), the famous red Chinese banners bearing powerful messages. Armed with a 35mm Leica M6 and a large-format 4×5”, Leleu was “seduced by their form and by their violence.” His desire to understand them led Leleu to photograph them, substitute them and ultimately eclipse all original meaning. This years-long project – begun in 2008 – is composed in three chapters. The first chapter, “Authority,” is the preliminary phase of the project, more journalistic, darker, literally and conceptually. Shot in Shanghai and Beijing and mostly at night, the series shows the banners, “as they were seen by the Chinese.” The second chapter, “Vox Populi”, denotes change in tone. As an attempt to distance himself from the “dark and perhaps moralizing connotations,” Leleu relies on imagination and humor. This time he creates his own banners and hangs them in either picturesque or incongruous public places. “Silent Protest” ends the series and opens up the realm of possibilities. Shot in China (Yunnan, Xinjiang) and France (Baie de Somme, Chantilly), this chapter suggests “nature does not obey human boundaries”. In sum, Subtitles is a deliberately satirical, overtly political, deeply poetic, and filled with social commentary.
Authority, Thank you for your understanding, participation and assistance in the urban renovation project of Jing’an district.
This is a photo opportunity.
Do you prefer chicken leg or chicken wing?
Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony. Mahatmah Gandhi
Know yourself and your enemy and you will not lose a single battle. SunZi, ‘The Art of War’
Unity is strength. Revolutionary slogan and popular song of 1943
When the storm is coming, some people build walls, others build windmills. Chinese proverb
See more of Eric Leleu‘s work at Photography of China.
Photography Friday is a regular feature from Shanghaiist in association with Photography of China, Marine Cabos’s fantastic trilingual blog about photography and photographers in China.