Darlene Delbecq’s kaleidoscopic and steampunk photography

by deborah on 10/20/2008

Sometimes I really like small ‘pocket’ photography exhibitions, especially if they present photographer’s particular cycle, because you can sharpen your view, your perception and, somehow it forces you to immerse deeply into the idea…

In the age when everything is being so procurable via the net, it’s a little bit strange when you find out that there aren’t many web sites covering the career of such an interesting photographer as Darlene Delbecq.

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Photo: Eyeglasses by Darlene Delbecq (c)

Her photos came in the right moment because lately I had a desire to see a little bit of analogue middle format photography, as a short break… as a reminder of the basis… as something connected with the process of working… as something prehistoric (?!)… as… as…

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Photo: Moth by Darlene Delbecq (c)

Therefore, in that ‘drawer’ goes the work by American photographer Darlene Delbecq… I saw her photographs that belong to the author’s recent production, from 2007, in the small Cro Art Photo Gallery in Zagreb.

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Photo: Darlene Delbecq (c)

Delbecq is based in Indianapolis where she graduated at the Art Academy Herron and has a consisted career from 1985 till today…She is mainly oriented towards art photography but also does a documentary oriented stuff (photographer for BBC’s documentaries), portraits and landscape photography of the native Indianapolis. Delbeq’s photos could be seen in many books and magazines, too.

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Photo: Darlene Delbecq (c)

Darlene Delbecq is obviously inspired with the photography from the first part of 20th century, and it’s very interesting to see how her eyes and mind are even belonging to that historical period in a way, but than there is a strange signature in her visual procédé, that gives to the viewer some strange biased pulses while looking at it.

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Photo: Darlene Delbecq (c)

It’s a sort of vintage photography, but still a little bit awkward while treating the object, so I’ve felt like I’m seeing a steampunk variant of contemporary photography.

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Photo: Darlene Delbecq (c)

Darlene Delbecq makes photos from some other time, her technique is very powerful, the gelatin silver prints are fulfilled with a dreamy and strange atmosphere… when you look at it, whether they are shots of just a split second, they seem to be moving.

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Photo: Fencer, Pan-American Games, Courtesy of IMA

Her sense for time and tempo is irresistible… Her latest cycle with a mirrored-symmetrical composition is placing a woman (actually two) as the main object; there is a constant expectation that those bodies / objects / personalities are going to multiply into more, same when you look through the kaleidoscope. The time is not stopped, but maybe frozen…

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Photo by D. Delbecq: Fencer, Pan-American Games, Courtesy of IMA

Delbecq’s photos are surreal even when she is photographing sportsmen, some strange atmosphere lies between frames… something very elusive but visually tangible…

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Photo by D. Delbecq: Fencer, Pan-American Games, Courtesy of IMA

I was totally thrilled with her sport photography, I’ve found on web. Three photographs of Fencer taken in 1987 at the Pan-American Games from the Indianapolis Art Museum’s collection could be placed in any period of time… how many histories she included into one art piece, it’s amazing…