Cover, © Multipress, Line Bøhmer Løkken

Publisher Note

As in a slow-motion film, these situations and encounters glide by, impossible to hold still. The fate of Tøyen Center is unknown, yet there is talk of a facelift. What exactly shall be lifted? For whose sake? This is yet to be seen. — Line Bøhmer Løkken, October, 2013

During a period of three pivotal years for the Tøyen Center in Oslo, Norway, Line Bøhmer Løkken immersed herself and photographed the happenings of daily life. The result of these forays is the book Tøyen Sentrum — a portrait of a public square before developers conducted yet-another “facelift,” and an exploration of the photo book as a medium for reading photography.

The construction of Tøyen Center began with the Tøyen Metro station in 1966 — and the leveling of older residential buildings. Tøyen Center, during the years 1968–1980, was regarded as a modern, visionary project, where residents and visitors conducted errands in an automobile- free, secluded, publicly-owned square. A community meeting place, with easy access to public transportation, it was a harmony of offices, commercial venues, and residential buildings.

By the early 21st century Tøyen Center had become the reverse image of the idealistic vision proclaimed upon its inception. Like other mid-century public projects, shuttered retail spaces, and the associated labels of urban blight, followed. But, as Løkken saw, the square had also become an arena for marginalized groups in Norwegian society. Finding few traces of the vision that prompted its initial construction, Løkken set out to find what vision had grown in its wake: what type of public space does Tøyen Center represent?

Løkken makes use of documentary strategies, but the photographs are notably devoid of narrative activity. Revealing underlying structures, Tøyen Sentrum challenges our way of seeing the architecture of a social landscape.

Release Place Oslo, Norway
Edition 1st edition
Release Date 2014
Printrun 600
ISBN-13: 978-82-92224-12-0
Original Price 38.00 EUR
Availability Available
Dimensions 20.5 × 24.0 cm
Pages 160