Jens S Jensen

Hammarkullen - 40 Years Later


August 30 – October 13, 2013


Jens S Jensen has spent four decades documenting Hammarkullen, a Gothenburg suburb, and the Hasselblad Foundation presents the work completed this year. This exhibition features photographs from 1973 to the present day that depict the area’s development and social transformation. The work chiefly revolves around the people Jens S Jensen met and followed for almost half a century. A catalogue is published in conjunction with the exhibition, designed by Greger Ulf Nilsson.


Construction on what would become Hammarkullen began in 1968. Building a new suburb in Gothenburg was part of the Million Programme, a Swedish policy to build one million new apartments during 1965 – 1975. Demands for efficiency and profitable solutions led to a lack of overall consideration for the environment and people’s needs. Areas such as Hammarkullen soon became arenas of alienation, unrest and criticism. Jens S Jensen had just graduated as an architect when his interest in suburbs began in 1973. He aimed to depict the structures and the politics behind them, and at the same time provide a voice for residents through images, texts and interviews. The people soon became his main focus and the work follows a number of these youths through their lives. The series is a unique documentary of contemporary Swedish history and poses questions about the welfare state’s ideals, challenges and future.


Jens S Jensen’s first book on the area was published in 1974, Hammarkullen, and was followed by two more: Ljuva drömmar (Sweet Dreams) 1982 and Tänk om allting var underbart (Imagine if Everything was Wonderful) 1995.  

Jens S Jensen was born in Stockholm, 1946, and has lived in Gothenburg since 1965. He graduated as an architect at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg and is an active photographer and writer. In addition to the Hammarkullen series, some of his other books include Bilbyggare (Car Builders) 1978, Oavslutat (Unfinished) 1985, Borta bra (East, West) 1999 and En enkel till Tahiti (One-Way Ticket to Tahiti) 1990. Jens S Jensen was awarded the Gullers scholarship 1999 and Angered’s culture award 2009, among others. He has had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Work, Norrköping, and the former Architecture Museum, Stockholm. This is his second solo exhibition at the Hasselblad Center. The first was in 1996, titled Hammarkullen 1973 – 1996. In 2012, he participated in the group exhibitions Century of the Child at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and Worlds and Realities – documentary photography in the 1970s at Länsmuseet Gävleborg, Gävle.


Jens S Jensen’s work is represented in museum collections including the Hasselblad Foundation, Gothenburg, Moderna Museet and Nordiska museet, Stockholm and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.


Curator: Dragana Vujanovic

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