Björn LARSSON, Sebastian WADSTED (Book Design)


€ 27,50
inkl. MwSt., zzgl. Versand


"Everything put together falls apart, seems to be the red thread in Björn Larsson's new book with images of old abandoned wooden houses and barns in the Swedish countryside.The book is designed in correspondence with its subject – loose sheets hold together by a rubber band and a plastic bag.

The title 49/51 refers to the breakpoint when more people are living in cities than in rural areas. The book contains a before and after perspective using old aerial photographs in combination with a contemporary visual report." (publisher's note)

"In our bedroom there´s a photograph of my wife´s grandparents house, an aerial view from Hälsingland, on the east coast, in the middle of Sweden. You can see the same kind of pictures on the cover of The Swedish photographer and artist Björn LARSSON’s new publication '49/51'. He combines old aerial photographs of Swedish farms as it once was, with new pictures of abandoned houses and barns falling apart.
200 years ago, 90 percent of Sweden’s population lived in the countryside. Today it is almost the contrary, 85 percent live in urban areas. This urbanization took off in the early 1900s and has since then continued. Around 1930, we came to the demographic break point, when as many lived in the countryside and in the cities. A few years later, the city took over the lead.

This is the theme for Björn LARSSON’s '49/51', the breaking point of people leaving the countryside where farms are abandoned and falling apart. Hence the cryptic title 49/51. 49% rural, 51% in the city.
Björn LARSSON takes over where the Swedish photographer Sune JONSSON finished. The farms, villages and the people that he documented in the books 'Village with the Blue House' and 'The Great Migration'. In the latter book Sune JONSSON portraits the depopulation of areas in Västerbotten (in the north part of Sweden) in the area around Lycksele and Vilhelmina.

The starting point for Björn LARSSON is old hand colored aerial photos from areas in Sweden (like the landscape Sune JONSSON documented). Images that became very popular after World War II, long before Google Street view. But far from everyone could afford to buy the photos, they were sold for SEK 135, which was quite a lot of money in the fifties.

Björn LARSSON has photographed houses from the same surroundings as the aerial photographs. Now they are abandoned, the barns have collapsed of its own solitude. People left for the city. The design of the publication, also seems to fall apart, it´s fragile with it´s loose pages printed in web offset. A carton and a rubber band holds the pages together. There is no text that explains what happened to the people who left. (except a list of what I think is the old farms that no longer exist). But Björn LARSSON’s pictures speaks for themselves. Abandoned buildings have a voice, they show clearly that they miss the people who cut down the trees, sawed them into planks, painted them with red paint and nailed them together into barns for hay, cows or the tractor.
There is a kind of sadness about the images, but at the same time there´s hope that the wind will turn around, people move back and take advantage of the resources we have around us. But the question is: Will it ever happen? Over time the majority of the world’s population will live in big cities. Who will then remain in the small villages and the house where the road ends?" (Johan BRINK, in: Leaving the countryside. Björn Larsson 49/51, (March 28, 2017, source:

About the photographer Björn LARSSON (*1966 in Lund, Sweden):
Björn LARSSON graduated from University of Gothenburg in 1992. Since then he has had many exhibitions; he lives and work in Stockholm, Sweden.

In einem interessanten Format ist der aktuelle Band des schwedischen Fotografen Björn LARSSON über verlassene Holzbauten in seiner Heimat erschienen: als ungebundene Arbeit im Newspaper-Format steht auch die Publiaktion für die Vergänglichkeit, die auch seinen fotografierten Motiven anhaftet.
LARSSON führt das Werk Sune JOHNSSONs fort, das dieser in den Bänden 'Village with the Blue House' (dt.: Dorf mit blauem Haus) und 'The Great Migration' einst begonnen hat.
Für die Zusammenstellung seiner Publikation '49/51', das für 49% auf dem Land, bzw. 51% in der Stadt lebende Menschen bedeutet, stiefelte LARSSON sicherich auch durch's Unterholz, aber er bediente sich auch Luftaufnahmen sowie Archivmaterials.
Der Titel stand auch auf der Shortlist des Fotobuch-Wettbewerbs in Arles 2017.

"Alles zusammengelegt, fällt auseinander - das scheint der rote Faden in Björn LARSSONs neuem Buch '49/51'mit Bildern von alten verlassenen Holzhäusern und Scheunen in der schwedischen Landschaft zu sein.
Das Buch ist in Übereinstimmung mit seinem Inhalt entworfen - lose Blätter werden durch ein Gummiband in einer Plastiktüte zusammen gehalten.

Der Titel 49/51 bezieht sich auf den (Mess-)punkt, wo mehr Menschen in Städten leben als in ländlichen Gebieten.
Das Buch enthält ein Vor und ein Danach sowie eine Perspektive mit alten Luftaufnahmen in Kombination mit einem zeitgenössischen visuellen Bericht."
(publisher's note)

Über den Fotografen Björn LARSSON (*1966 in Lund, Schweden):
Björn LARSSON aboslvierte sein Studium an der University of Gothenburg 1992. Seitdem hatte er verschiedenen Einzel- und Gruppenausstellungen; er lebt und arbeitet in Stockholm, Schweden.