(10 February to 28 November 2010)
Martin Parr is considered to be one of the most successful and accessible artists of his generation. A photographer, collector, editor and exhibition maker, he offers us his unique view of the modern world by reflecting its ambiguities. He describes his practice as a form of collecting, essentially seeing it as a strategy for pursuing his research passions of ‘leisure’, ‘consumption’ and ‘communication’.
For The House of Vernacular Martin Parr selected seven collections of images by commercial and amateur photographers from across the globe, and worked with Fabrica’s creative team to locate them within this unusual building.
Intentionally or otherwise, these unauthored images draw out photography’s relationship family life, technology, propaganda and other key subjects for photography in the 21st century.
With photographs thematically and theatrically set in a series of interlinking rooms, like exhibits of a strange museum or quirky department store, The House of Vernacular offered a unique visitor experience.
The Collections: Photo Paintings from Northeast Brazil
These Photo Paintings, collected by Titus Riedl, take pride of place in many homes in northeast Brazil. The images are made using a traditional process (now superseded by the use of computers) whereby simple black and white portraits are hand painted in oils to form iconic and highly valued family records. Printed on HP Professional Satin Photo Paper (300gsm).
The Corinthians is a slideshow of American family snapshots, 1947-74, produced on the now discontinued Kodachrome film stock. The Archive of Modern Conflict in London has collected and published these images as a visual commentary on postwar prosperity where TVs, barbecues, big cars and summer vacations take centre stage. Presented as a 35mm slide projection.
The Litter Bins collection is from the University of Brighton Design Archives and include formal studies from the Design Council Picture Library, 1950-70. The images show various litter bins in situ in various towns and cities including Brighton, and in design competition settings at the Litter Bin Exhibition, Victoria Embankment Gardens, October 6-20 1960. Printed on HP Hahnemühle Smooth Fine Art Paper (310gsm).
Wirtschaftswunder, is a body of work shot by Josef Heinrich Darchinger for the Ministry of Interior in post-war Germany illustrating the drive for political, social and economic transformation at the dawn of the cold war era. Darchinger’s pictures record a country in a fever of reconstruction heralded around the world as an “economic miracle.” Presented as a digital projection.
Aeroplane Interiors, are unpopulated images showing the luxury of dictator’s private jets from the 1960s and 70s. These photographs record the in-flight indulgences of the political elite in a display of opulent wealth and power. This collection is from The Archive of Modern Conflict and includes a series of images by commercial photographer Nick Gleis. Printed on HP Hahnemühle Smooth Fine Art Paper (310gsm).
Infants and Babies
Infants and Babies is a series of images from the archive of Willem Van Zeotendaal by photographer Lee To Sang who operated a portrait studio in Amsterdam for over thirty years. His studio attracted a culturally diverse clientele from the surrounding neighbourhoods who were often invited to pose in front of idealised landscapes ranging from the Alps to a Chinese garden. Printed on HP Professional Satin Photo Paper (300gsm).
Men in Hats
About The Artist
Martin Parr is considered to be one of the most successful and accessible artists of his generation. A photographer, collector, editor and exhibition maker, he offers us his view of the modern world by reflecting its ambiguities. He describes his practice as a form of collecting, essentially seeing it as a strategy for pursuing his research passions of ‘leisure’, ‘consumption’ and ‘communication’.
Martin Parr was born in Epsom, Surrey, UK, in 1952. Since leaving college in 1973 he has worked on numerous photographic projects and developed an international reputation for his innovative imagery, oblique approach to social commentary and his input into photographic culture within the UK and abroad. In 1994 he became a full member of Magnum Photographic Corporation. In 2002, the Barbican Art Gallery and the National Media Museum initiated a major retrospective of his work that toured Europe for five years. He was Guest Artistic Director of Rencontres D’Arles in 2004, guest curator at New York Photo Festival in 2008 and won the Baume et Mercier award in recognition of his contribution to contemporary photography at PhotoEspana in 2008.