PEOPLEText: Nem Kienzle
Farewell Books is a young independent publishing company which is established on April 2007. Based on Gothenburg in Sweden, it publishes art books from unique eye vision. Its distinctive rough print like a black and white copy is their character. SHIFT speaks to Mårten Lange about why and how he established the company, and next plans.
August 31st, 2007. Carbon Copy Commodity at Bell-Roberts.
First of all, could you introduce yourself?
My name is Mårten Lange. I was born in 1984. I’m a photographer and I live and work in Gothenburg, Sweden. I’m currently studying photography at the Gothenburg University.
Please tell us about the Farewell Books.
Farewell Books is a project I started in April, 2007, as a way to publish my own work and the work of other photographers I find interesting. Publishing a book with a big, established publishing house is a very slow and expensive process, at least here in Sweden. Inspired by publishers like Nieves and Hamburger Eyes, I decided to start my own publishing house. With Farewell, I can do what I want, when I want to. It is a great freedom; I edit and design the books myself or with the artist I’m publishing. The name Farewell Books is a reference to photographer Daido Moriyama‘s famous work Farewell Photography, a personal favorite of mine.
June 27th, 2007. New book by Magnus Gyllensten.
It seems that the books have a rough finish in terms of printing; what was the reason behind choosing this printing method?
My budget is rather limited. Laser printing is very affordable, yet still makes for quite good black and white reproductions. It also means I can sell the books for a very friendly price, while still printing very small editions. The three books I have published so far have only been printed in an edition of 100 copies each. They are more like artist books or zines than regular books.
April 25th, 2007. New book by Mårten Lange.
Could you tell us about the upcoming titles published by Farewell Books?
Not really, sorry. I have plans for one more book before the end of this year, but what that book will be I have not yet decided.
Do you have any criteria as to select artists?
I want to publish works that function well in the book format. Great pictures can be great, but it is important for me that the work has a narrative of sorts. Not all photography is suitable for a photography book.
Where will those titles be available?
Farewell has very limited distribution. Currently the books are available at Ooga Booga in Los Angeles, Dashwood Books in New York, Lendroit in Rennes, Konstmuseet in Gothenburg and Konsthallen in Malmö. All books are of course also available worldwide from Farewell store.
Please also tell us about your future publishing plan.
I want to continue to publishing small, inexpensive, limited edition photo books. Also, I want to continue to spread the word about Farewell Books and reach more people.
What do you feel about the current art scene in Sweden? Is there any new movement?
I’m afraid I don’t know that much about the general art scene. The photography scene, though, is quite exciting right now. Many young, new photographers are emerging and the interest for photography and photo books is increasing. There are also many interesting exhibitions right now. For example, this autumn Gregory Crewdson, Martin Parr and Nobuyoshi Araki have all visited Sweden and shown their work.
We would also like you to tell us about your city, Gothenburg.
Gothenburg is located on Sweden’s west coast. It’s a small town even though it is Sweden’s second biggest city after Stockholm. If you’re coming to Sweden, come in the summer.
Finally, please give readers a message.
Thank you for reading this interview with me. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with your ideas and opinions. I hope you like the books!
Text: Nem Kienzle