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Martin Bogren


Martin Bogren | Lowlands

This is where I grew up. When I was a child I longed to move away. To something that was bigger, to something more. The village was limiting and the world beyond was an adventure waiting to happen. I have returned here now. With my camera as an excuse – to search for memories. To understand the longing I felt while growing up.
-Martin Bogren

en bildberättelse som spelar mellan dokumentärt, drömskt och högst personligt

In Martin Bogren’s Lowlands we are presented with a story narrated by images that resides between the documentary, the dreamy, and the personal. For several years, Bogren returned to his childhood village in Skåne. We are presented with a personal depiction of his memories and of the people still living in the village. Bogren’s black-and-white photographs create a feeling of stepping into another world where time stands still.

Several photographers, among them Sune Jonsson (1930–2009), have documented Swedish villages and their inhabitants. Jonsson’s photographs are viewed today as important portraits of the times. His images, despite a constantly changing society, capture us as we really are. The need to return to and to document places is a central part in the history of photography. We are presented with documentations of remote places, and without the photographer’s pictures one can almost say we would not have known these villages even existed. Bogren’s photographs are more subjective than Jonsson’s, but both of them depict the villages and their inhabitants with great affection.

We often have mixed feelings about the places where we were raised, and there is a kind of ambivalence. Either we miss our hometown, or we promise ourselves never to return. We have both good and bad memories of our upbringing, but the past is a part of who we are today and has shaped our identity.

Martin Bogren

Martin Bogren (born 1967) grew up in Skåne and lives in Malmö today. His photographs have been exhibited in Scandinavia, USA, France, Poland, and Italy.

His previous photo series Ocean (2008) received an honorable mention at the Swedish Photo Book Prize in 2009. Bogren has also received several awards and earned international recognition. Bogren is represented at the Oregon Art Museum in Portland, USA and in various private and public collections.

-Curator Maria Patomella