Martin Parr – Planéte Parr and Playas

My wife and I have just taken a trip to paris to see Martin Parr’s show “Planéte Parr” after the man himself invited us to the opening night. It is the same show that was in Münich and the Netherlands under the name of Parr World with some new additions. The show consists of 3 parts: Luxury, Parr’s collections and the prints by other photographers from Parr’s private collection.

Planéte Parr

Music by: The Bobby McGees

Luxury is Parr’s new work documenting the lifestyle of the super rich, to the oligarchs of Russia to the races in Bahrain. It is a natural progression from his work documenting the the lower class families in his “Last Resort” to the documentation of of the middle classes in “Think of England”.

Parr’s collections of objects and ephemera, It’s really amazing to think that everything has been collected by one man and not a team at a museum. The objects on show range from collections of tea trays and postcards to collectables with the images of Margaret Thatcher, Barack Obama and Saddam Hussein on them. These include Saddam watches, a pair of Obama flip-flops and Thatcher a tea pot.

There is a large collection of work from other photographers on a wide range of subjects. This includes Elaine Constantine’s photos of Mosh pits in the 90’s to Chris Killip’s Work Documenting the effects of thatcherism in the 70’s. The most thought provoking was Paul Seawright work documenting the sites of sectarian murders in Belfast juxtaposed with headlines describing the crimes that took place. In stark contrast to Paul Seawright’s work is Keith Armatts photographs of the passive aggressive post-it notes from his wife. It would be worth going to the show just see this diverse collection of images.

There is also a selection of prints form The Guardian Cities Project in which Brighton, my home town, was one. It was quite nice to see a photo of my friend Dave on the wall of a big Parisian art gallery going for his morning swim.

Parr World will be coming to Newcastle in October to the Caltic Center for Contemporary Arts. I have seen the shows in Paris and Munich and defiantly will be making my way up north to in October, if it’s your part of the world you should too.

Planéte Parr is on until the 27 September 2009

As an added bonus Martin had a second private view the next day in Paris showing his “Playas” work, this is a new body of work documenting the beach culture of Latin America. He has put this work into a book which is far from technically perfect, the color reproduction terrible, the typography is appalling and I love it. I was lucky to get 2 copies one with out any cyan on the cover. Martian said to me “I bet you are at a point in your career where you want your books to be perfect” he then went on to explain that he is at a point in his career where he has gone the other way. For his Playas book he sourced a mexican designer and let them go to town on the layout of the book, the designers placed graphics over images which would horrify most photographers! It was printed in a really cheep printers in mexico, on a lot of the books the CMYK dose not even align!

martin parr's crappy new book

Playas is on until the 29th july 2009 at the Kemal Mennour
More info:

If you are a flickr user and are into Parr’s work you should join the flickr group I started: Martin Parr WE LOVE U. It was because of this group that I first started a correspondence with Martian Parr.

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3 Responses to Martin Parr – Planéte Parr and Playas

  1. Rich says:

    Had a chuckle at the typo at the end there in Parr’s name. Apparently Cartier-Bresson said something along the lines of Parr being ‘from a different solar system’! Definitely going to the show in October.

  2. Alan says:

    You might be interested in this book. Martin Parr is one of the featured photographers.

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