‘Exploding’ classic cars on show in Dubai

The Disintegrating II photo series is on display at the MB&F M.A.D. Gallery.

Neil Churchill May 9, 2016

Ever wondered what it looks like when an old, classic car loses it around a bend, it’s chronic understeer careering it into the barriers? Well this, probably. But relax; these aren’t really classic cars mid-crash.

The exploding cars are part of Fabian Oefner’s Disintegrating II photo series, on display now at the MB&F M.A.D. Gallery in Dubai. 

Renown for fusing the fields of art and science, Oefner’s photos are truly mind-boggling for their painstaking creation process, with each one taking two months to complete.

Of course these aren’t actually some of the world’s most classic vehicles exploding before your very eyes. They’re actually replica models that the Swiss artist deconstructs and photographs piece by piece in specific positions, before putting them together digitally to create the finished product. 

Oefner explains that while photography is normally about capturing a moment in time, his Disintegrating II series is about inventing a moment in time. “What you see in these images, is a moment that never existed in real life,” he says.

“What looks like a car falling apart is in fact a moment in time that has been created artificially by blending over 2,000 individual images together. There is a unique pleasure about artificially building a moment… Freezing a moment in time is stupefying.” 

Oefner sketches on paper where each individual piece will go, before taking the model cars apart piece by piece, from the body shell right down to the miniscule screws. Each car contained over 1,000 components.

“These are possibly the ‘slowest high-speed’ images ever captured,” says Oefner. “It took almost two months to create an image that looks as if it was captured in a fraction of a second. The whole disassembly in itself took more than a day for each car due to the complexity of the models. But that’s a bit of a boy thing. There’s an enjoyment in the analysis, discovering something by taking it apart, like peeling an onion.” 

M.A.D. Gallery Dubai is located at Al Serkal Avenue, Street 8 in Al Quoz 1, Dubai. Open 10:00 am to 7:00 pm daily, Saturday to Thursday. mbandf.com/mad-gallery