Wex Photographic

Photobiography: An Evening with Martin ParrPhotobiography: An Evening with Martin Parr

Seminars

Photobiography: An Evening with Martin Parr

  • Days: 1

Photobiography: An Evening with Martin Parr

Wednesday 26th September, 5pm - 7pm 

FREE


© Martin Parr / Magnum Photos, courtesy Rocket Gallery

Discussing his long and prominent career in photography, Martin Parr will be hosting a talk in our London, Whitechapel store. 

Martin Parr has continuously exposed our contemporary world, from 80s working classes holidaying in New Brighton (The Last Resort, 1983–85), or Thatcher-era rising middle class (The Cost of Living, 1987–89), mass tourism (Small World, 1987-1994), Royalty, local industries, British society in various institutions or moments of celebration, technology’s impact on our behaviour (the Phone Project, 1998-2002), our relationship to food, etc... Themes repeat and overlap, creating several threads exposing humans through various cultural lenses and era-marking fashions and practices.

Martin Parr’s quizzical camera seems to intrude on intimate or in-between moments that weren’t supposed to be turned into permanent images. The situations he captures are accentuated with vivid colours and close-up perspectives, yet the complexity of the compositions belies any direct or personal criticism of their subject. As in his more recent series of beaches (Life’s a Beach, 2012), people are caught in group situations, enacting cultural traits, placing personal satire into the realm of anthropological study.

He has used photography in different genres, from photo-journalism to fashion and advertising and has a keen interest in film-making. His first exhibition in a UK institution was at the Serpentine Gallery in 1986 (The Last Resort), and his first solo show in a commercial gallery in 1997, showing West Bay at Rocket Gallery in London. In his second exhibition with Rocket, Martin Parr presented Common Sense, subsequently acquired by the Tate and on show at Tate Modern through 2018.

Martin Parr’s activity as chronicler extends beyond taking photographs into collecting photography and photo books, publishing, teaching and curating.  He was Professor of Photography at The University of Wales Newport campus from 2004 to 2012; President  of Magnum Photos between 2013-2017 (joined in 1994); Guest Artistic Director for the Rencontres d’Arles in 2004; Guest curator at New York Photo Festival in 2008; Curator of the Brighton Photo Biennial in 2010 and the Strange and Familiar exhibition at the Barbican, London in 2016. He has published over 100 books of his own work and edited another 30. An avid collector and promoter of British photography, he opened the Martin Parr Foundation in Autumn 2017. Martin is currently working on an exhibition for the National Portrait Gallery which will open in March 2019.

Images in header: 

 *Athens. Acropolis, Athens, Greece, 1991

From the series 'Small World'

*Venice, Italy, 1990

From the 'Home and Abroad'

Speaker

Martin Parr

Martin Parr

Martin Parr (born 23 May 1952) is a British documentary photographer known for his photographic projects that take an intimate, satirical and anthropological look at aspects of modern life, in particular documenting the social classes of England, and more broadly the wealth of the Western world.

 

In the words of Thomas Weski, “Martin Parr is a chronicler of our age”. His first project after graduating from Manchester Polytechnic in 1973 documented the decline of West Yorkshire’s rural communities through the focal point of the Methodist and Baptist non-conformist chapels, centers of community life which were disappearing in the 70’s (The Non-Conformists, 1975-80).

 

Since then Martin Parr has continuously exposed our contemporary world, from 80’s working classes holidaying in New Brighton (The Last Resort, 1983–85), or Thatcher-era rising middle class (The Cost of Living, 1987–89), mass tourism (Small World, 1987-1994), Royalty, local industries, British society in various institutions or moments of celebration, technology’s impact on our behaviour (the Phone Project, 1998-2002), our relationship to food, etc... Themes repeat and overlap, creating several threads exposing humans through various cultural lenses and era-marking fashions and practices.