Mechanical mayhem: photographer Fabian Oefner’s four-wheeled forensics
Swiss photographer Fabian Oefner has returned to the Geneva-based MAD Gallery with a new show for its Taipei outpost. ’Disintegrating II’ is an exhibition of five large-format prints, comprising the second part of Oefner’s ’Disintegrating’ series, first seen at the Geneva MAD Gallery in 2013. His goal is to capture images of real objects or situations, but which are invisible to the naked eye. This time, he’s deconstructed the most beautiful – and, it must be said, valuable – automotive treasures of them all, producing photographs that look as if the cars have exploded, creating a shower of internal components.
It takes Oefner two months and over 2,000 photos to create each image. What makes his achievement all the more remarkable is that the full-sized cars, one of which is Ralph Lauren’s 1938 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic, were not touched. Oefner created the five images by painstakingly deconstructing scale-models.
This is possible because today’s state-of-the-art model cars, the large-scale items with four-figure prices, are indistinguishable from the real thing, provided no nearby objects betray their size. How else do you think they destroyed James Bond’s priceless Aston-Martin at the end of Skyfall?
The first part of Oefner’s ’Disintegrating’ series was shown in 2013 at the Geneva branch of MAD Gallery
Oefner photographs each component, over a thousand in each model, placing each piece in a specific position. In this manner, he can create the illusion of an exploding automobile. As tempted as one might be to think they’re computer-generated, they are not. The cars – all legendary – include the Auto Union Type C, the Maserati 250F, Ford’s GT40, the aforementioned Bugatti 57SC Atlantic and the Porsche 956.
Each of the five images is available in two sizes: 140cm x 70cm and 230cm x 115cm. The smaller of the two is limited to eight prints priced at 3,780 CHF and the larger to three prints selling for 19,440 CHF. Both are also offered as limited artist’s editions – two each, at 5,000 CHF and 22,000 CHF. It’s interesting to note that, at one time, 22,000 CHF would have paid for the actual cars.