Thursday, January 17, 2008

Mårten Lange

I quite like Swedish photographer Mårten Lange's work for a couple of reasons.
The first is pretty obvious - his Woodland project approaches the whole "trees/forest" subject in a way that seems failry close to my own approach - and on the whole I like the way he's done it.

His Machina work has also grown on me quite a bit. I also like the similarly between the two projects; the view of complex tangles, a sort of disorder (yet with an underlying - less obvious - order) and messiness. Visually confusing but intriguing.

The second reason is how he approached publishing his work. He has established his own Press and publishes what are basically photo-zines which are in a way closer to the zine comic book world than the fine art photo book world. It's a nice approach. 5B4 has a good review of his books and his publishing

"When most young artists dream of publishing a photography book they may desire for it to be accepted into the hands of a Hatje Cantz, Aperture or Steidl. Often the dream entails lush production values and a care given that is tantamount to the respect one tends to place upon their own work.
On the other side of the coin, there are artists that have a DIY approach similar to the vast amounts of fanzines (’zines) that appeared throughout the heyday of the punk and hardcore music movements in the early 1980’s. ‘Zines are rather cheaply produced magazines of varying length, often Xeroxed and staple bound and distributed through various independent channels...

One such small publisher who is taking advantage of this type of low-fi production is called Farewell Books which is run by a photographer named Marten Lange in Sweden. Originally started to publish his own photography, he has branched out to publish others including the prominent photographer and conceptual artist John Divola. All of the books are various sizes; laser printed and perfect bound in soft cover."

Finally, I'm pretty sure I can see a big dose of influence from Lee Friedlander in his work - both the Desert and Olmsted work and also the At Worker and Cray projects. I wonder if Lange is breaking away from that a bit more in new work?

1 comment:

Mel Trittin said...

Coincidentally I received my copies of John Divola's and Marten Lange's books today. I ordered them on the recommendation of 5B4. They are a pleasure to have and, of course, to hold. I couldn't be more pleased. I am glad to have you affirm that what drew me to Machina in particular is the echo of your Bethicketed.