In a world of camera ubiquity and digital overload, Torsten Hattenkerl's Autoportraits are a refreshing step forward for the European photographic tradition. A future of portraits. People in poses. Eschewing the exactitude of the current European affinity for large-format detail, Hattenkel s portraits of car owners (with the object of their affection) have a warm familiarity while they propose a larger statement about a nation of one. These 37 color plates of people standing in front of their cars are as modern as they are retro, while Hattenkerl's subjects are as brilliantly individual as they are terrifyingly uniform. The pictures ask 'Who are we'; while answering 'Who are we without our cars'; Seventy years after August Sander, the traffic of everyday life has moved off of the sidewalk and onto freeways, while the world of advertisements urges us to believe we're nothing without our vehicle(s). Hattenkerl's trained his sharp eye on the confluence of culture and cars while executing a brilliantly simple concept. If we are no one without our cars who exactly are we?
Text by Stefan Nagel
Format: 28,5 x 34 cm, 84 pages (48 colour images)
Publisher: Fotohof, 2007