In the doorstep of a white tiled bathroom:
The smile of a stranger.
The rhythm in the trembling air.
The rattle of the glass panels.
poem – Abraham Lili Lea
◖Ábrahám Lili Lea: Shadow and Sunrise.
It was the summer of 2021, my next stop was to temporarily return to Hungary from London after 12 years.
But instead of arriving, for a long time, the carriage was stuck in the tunnel.
It felt like I never returned home and I had never left – I was in between, looking for my place.
Then one night I was asked by a stranger if I wanted to take a ride, if I wanted to go out. And I said yes.
◖Kondor Csaba: The underground mass shooter
A year-long daily two-hour commute on the London underground became unbearably tedious and monotonous, so I needed something to keep me occupied.I realised I needed an equally intricate instrument to capture it. That was when I got myself a Rollei 35s, the smallest and most silent 35mm camera I could find. This allowed me to capture those intimate moments: when we sink into our own world, suspending the generally uninteresting underground world surrounding us and when we someway interact with fellow passengers.
‘’non-places are designed and intended for the frictionless passage of a nameless and faceless multitude. The paradox of non-places, according to Marc Augé, is that anyone can feel ‘at home’ in them regardless of their actual background because they are equally alienating to everyone. ‘’
◖ Lili Lea Abraham is a London-based Hungarian art director and production designer. She is a production design graduate of the University of the Arts, London. Her art director credits include Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Things, Sean Dunkin’s The Nest, ITV’s The Ipcress Files, BBC’s Black Narcissus, and Tom Hardiman’s Medusa Deluxe. Her most recent project is Ken Loach’s new feature film.
Lili Lea Abraham designed BAFTA-nominated and Academy Awards shortlisted short film Wale, and British Film Institute funded Catch a Butcher that won her the British Film Designer’s Guild Awards for Best Production Design in a Short film. Lili is a Berlinale Talent and Warner Bros. Creative Talent Alumni.
For Lili, taking photos and writing are the purest forms of art, free of any pressure, always putting quality over quantity.
In her day job she creates imaginary worlds, but in photography she is drawn to real stories and fragility. The possibility of catching a moment in time, without any preparation or rules, as close to the subject as possible is what makes this the most flawless way of expression for her. If people let her come this close, she needs to let them close too, so she steps in front of the camera as well. She photographs only on black and white film and leaves them unedited.
◖ Csaba Kondor is a cinematographer and 3D lighting artist. His education began at AKG Budapest on a photography course, and then moved to the UK to further expand his knowledge on film and multimedia at University of Arts London. In the beginning of his career Csaba mainly worked as a camera operator on documentaries for the BBC, Discovery Channel and Spiegel. Later he moved towards fiction films and video games. He recently finished a British Film Institute sponsored short film O’Glory and Tribeca film festival shortlisted narrative game As Dusk Falls directed by video games veteran Caroline Marchal.
He describes the following photo series an eternal project: it never really started and will never really end.