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240 Landscape [Volvo] 

© Helge Skodvin

“Driving a Volvo 240 is as far from rockets, nerve gas and high stakes politics as you can come”
— Dr. Stanley Goodspeed (Nicolas Cage)

2,850,000 Volvo 240 cars were made between 1974 and 1993. It became the car of choice of the Nordic countries. 84,287 were sold in Norway.

More than any other car, the 240 became a symbol of Nordic and Norwegian values. The safe, the sound, the commonplace. Square and homely, yet solid and reliable. Function over form. No frills. Taking you from A to Z. A car. An ambassador for the Scandinavian social democracy.

As the social democratic system and the equal society waned, so did the Volvo 240. In the end of the seventies and early eighties, this was Norway’s best selling car. Then came liberalism and post-modernism in the late eighties, and the 240 fell victim to new times. By 1993, it was all over. We no longer wanted to be like everybody else, like our neighbour. We sought to be unique. We no longer wanted to be seen as common. We wanted to go shopping on Sundays and have lots of tv channels to choose from. We craved form over function. We no longer wanted the same car as everybody else. We no longer wanted the 240.

Yet, by 2012, there are still approximately 17 000 registered 240s rolling on Norwegian roads.

I have been photographing these cars as they are parked. In front of a house, in a driveway, in a parking lot, in a garage, alongside a road, in a courtyard, in a street. In their natural habitat. With these photographs, I want to show how we live, how our surroundings look. I wish to portray the everyday landscape. A photographic documentation of the landscape we inhabit.

click to view the complete set of images in the archive

Publisher: Journal 2015
Pages: 160
Format: Hardback, 1st edition

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