Young Swedish photographer Marten Lange’s work has often been likened to an almost scientific process of collecting and collating specimens from the natural world. His handsome book for Paris imprint Etudes, Citizen, shifts positions. Featuring a series of crisp, black-and-white portraits of pigeons, the book displays an anthropomorphic sensibility from the start. Framed as classic busts, there’s a particular sadness or pathos to these images – an isolation and desperation. We can’t help but impose our own emotional and very human baggage. The allegorical potential of the title, Citizen, leads us down another path. Perhaps a reflection on society, this succinct book poses questions of restriction and potential. These pigeons may be free from the cage, but we corral and trap them with our expectations, conventions and mythologies.
Photography by Mårten Lange Edited and designed by Études Studio
Published by Études Books, Paris Image post production by Janvier First edition, 500 copies May 2015, printed in EU