photo: Tomek Albin
retouch: Staszek Tarczynski | PHOTOKITCHEN
‘AUTO FIRE’ is a six shot series by photographer Tomek Albin, telling amongst others about: uncertainty, memories and dreams. The universal protagonist, is someone who on the eve of his thirtieth birthday, decided to answer the question: where do I come from?
The photographer makes a trip back to his childhood days visiting places which were dear to his heart and where he spent his days. The resulting portrayal has little to do with Freudian analysis, but rather takes the form of severe prosasim. Albin, while searching for autobiographical continuity discovers that in places where he was once a local he is now a stranger. In his case, AUTO FIRE, is an impulse, a starting point on his continuing life journey. The main theme of the project is personal identity.
While preparing to take the photos, Albin visited, for the first time in 15 years, places dear to his heart from childhood years. Although he did not associate any negative emotions with the places visited, during the process he begun to feel an inexplicable or better yet unjustified sense of unease.
These initial emotions played a pivotal role in shaping the character of the project. The lighting used in the project is completely natural. Each photo was taken during an ‘all night meditation session’ – each expose lasting a good few hours. Albin was determined to achieve a dream-like picture of the photographed objects. Inspired by Lars von Triers’ ‘Dogville’, the much complicated digital post-production process aimed to achieve, through free-form select techniques, the most powerful background to object effect. As such ignoring the background changes taken over years and focusing with all might of the objects engraved in memory since childhood.
All redundant or better yet unnecessary background details were carefully removed, as if by a surgical knife, leaving the remaining elements in disturbingly sterile form. Albin’s end result leaves us with scenes removed from place and time, whose apparent banality can easily turn to terror, or perhaps nostalgia.