26
Aug
12

Mårten Lange : “Anomalies” Series (Photography)

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“Untitled”
Mårten Lange
Photograph
2009
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“Untitled”
Mårten Lange
Photograph
2009
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“Untitled”
Mårten Lange
Photograph
2009
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“Untitled”
Mårten Lange
Photograph
2009
::

::
“Untitled”
Mårten Lange
Photograph
2009
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“Untitled”
Mårten Lange
Photograph
2009
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“Untitled”
Mårten Lange
Photograph
2009
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“Untitled”
Mårten Lange
Photograph
2009
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“Untitled”
Mårten Lange
Photograph
2009
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“There is an optimal size of things,” Mårten Lange says. Lange believes in the power of the index. When viewed in sequence, his stark, black-and-white photographs of both natural and manmade phenomena resemble a meticulously assembled catalogue of objects whose common quality remains tantalizingly obscure, despite the undeniable sense that they are, somehow, related. Lange’s work underscores photography’s empiricism, its liberation from the subjectivity of other media. In his work, form is stripped of meaning and allowed to stand unadorned, ready for contemplation. Lange explains, “You’ve got this lens, which sees everything, but it understands nothing.” Perhaps his best-known work is Anomalies, his third self-published book. The format of the photos in Anomalies is very strict: all the images are squares (that most static and inert shape) with an object centered in the composition…

Shot in Sweden and Japan, the images in Anomalies are deliberately de-contextualized. Lange notes. “It’s not about a place. If you leave the place out of the story, the images can take on different weights. Places are really loud.” The objects that populate Anomalies, on the other hand, are suffused with a deep, seemingly impenetrable silence. Lange photographed most of the images in Anomalies with a medium format camera equipped with a large Metz flash that he hoped would help combat the inky darkness of the long Swedish winter. It had an even more powerful effect, he recalls. “The whole town became my studio,” he says. In many of the images in Anomalies, the harsh blanket of light effectively cleaves figure from ground, and a scalelessness pervades. An overturned bus, an origami crane, and a distant house could all be the same size, and all resonate with an uncanny strangeness…

Lange’s early interest in photography had more to do with the equipment than the images it could yield. “I was fixated on the machine,” he recalls. As a boy, he visited his grandfather, who had a darkroom in his basement. Lange took photographs of small birds amid the Swedish landscape using his grandfather’s telephoto lens. Traces of those early experiments remain in his current work, which resonates with the power of a focal object emerging from a scanned void. “Complexity resembles chaos,” Lange notes, adding, “Like reverse science, I’m creating the kind of evidence I need to prove my point.” Anomalies has in fact been compared to Mike Mandel and Larry Sultan’s seminal Evidence (1977), which similarly strips the context from the images it indexes. – [Extract : The Last Magazine #8]

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Mårten Lange : Website

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