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Tractor Boys Hardcover – 13 Jun 2013


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About the Author

Swedish born Martin Bogren first came to attention in 1996 with his book on the Swedish band, The Cardigans, who he photographed over several years while touring with the band. He has since published two photobooks, Ocean and, most recently, Lowlands. A winner of the prestigious Scanpix Photography Award in Sweden he has been exhibited throughout Scandinavia as well as in France, Ireland, Portugal, India and USA. Christian Caujolle is one of the France's leading curators and critics. A founder of Agence VU he has curated major festivals such as PhotoEspana, Rencontres d'Arles and Foto Biennale Rotterdam, and his extensive writings on photography have been published worldwide.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A small masterpiece of a photobook, grainy, cinematic, like a half-forgotten dream 13 Dec. 2013
By James Casper - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is one of those rare photobooks that captures a time and place so perfectly that we feel we know it even though we have never been precisely there. It’s the magic of photography to take specific moments, fleeting, in-between moments, and evoke universal memories and emotions that trigger something like half-forgotten dreams deep inside our selves.

Young boys in their early teens in the remote region of Skane, Sweden, have a ritual of gathering together in a large deserted field at night (some with their girlfriends) to drive souped up old cars at crazy speeds, in circles, kicking up dust and snow and the smell of burning rubber and oil and gasoline. It’s a coming of age, and it’s sweet and innocent. And in between the shows of bravado, they hang out, laugh, talk, fall asleep, safe and isolated in their own play world before they grow up and move on with life.

What is amazing is how the photographer Martin Bogren, a quiet thoughtful middle-aged man, befriended these young people (without becoming one of them), and then seemed to have become invisible as he captured so many intimate and cinematic moments with his film camera. There is no judgment, no celebration, just bearing witness with a sensitive artist’s eye.

The grainy black and white images, each almost perfect in itself, build quietly to tell a richly-faceted story. This book reminds me of the opening sequences of Wim Wenders’ movie “Wings of Desire”, where the angels record their testimony and wonder as they overlook the everyday experiences of mortals on earth. Another, different reference comes to mind, too, that of Peter Pan and his gang who never want to grow old.

This book is a small masterpiece. Highly recommended.

— Jim Casper, editor, LensCulture
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