Ghost Witness – Mårten Lange

Loose Joints, 2020
Softbound, 23,3×34 cm
168 pages, black and white photographs
English text

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Since photography was invented, minor failures of technique have often resulted in the appearance of ‘ghosts’ imprinted on the film. The advent of photography promised a representation of reality previously unimaginable in its accuracy, but it only partially delivered on that vow, as is the case with most forms of technological innovation: they inevitably remain haunted by what they seek to replace.

Mårten Lange’s grainy black-and-white photographs of China’s megacities – collected in his new book Ghost Witness, published by Loose Joints – portray this haunting absence, looking for traces of a past still present in the play of light that reveals itself beneath the blanket of steel and glass of new skyscrapers.

Reminiscent of the grid-like geometry of codes or puzzles, these images draw us in with the promise of something yet to be deciphered. They could be described as the exact opposite of the glossy renderings that surely preceded the construction of the architecture they depict; they are abstract and mostly deprived of human life except for an occasional dense, generic crowd.

In his latest book, Lange openly questions us about what the future is for a country launching itself into blind innovation, pretending not to notice a haunting past that remains hidden by the blanket of smog but constantly present.

Weight 1 kg


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