I am a total Martin Parr fan.
Through his lens Parr captured various glam epochs by searing through the shiny veneer that accompanies most cataloging styles. His work is raw and refined.
The truck plates featured in the post below are taken from “Martin Parr’ by Val Williams a book I have admittedly paid for thrice in late fines at the library. I always just want it for one more day.
So, what is all this commemorative hubbub about?
Plates. Mugs. Christmas ornaments. Reminders of who we were, where we were? Are they just memory triggers? Catalogs in their own regard? Time capsules?
These plates make me think of old Victorian porcelain grave marker portraits. Relics of long ago. They make me long for all the beaters in the junk yard and the heyday of ignorant petrol consumption. You?
I’ll let you in on a secret if you swear not to judge. I love melamine tableware. All those do-it-yourself mail order opportunities that I have totally done as a child (and an adult) have a place in my tourist psyche. The prevalence of objects commemorating other objects really says something about our society. One could argue that all decoration, all motifs, commemorate something. In this vein of thought everything commemorates something else by simple reference, by simple existence. It is through critique we can start to un-peal the layers of meaning and cultural history associated with a piece of work. Parr’s constant critique of our culture and consumption is done so with photo documentation of the candid everyday. By photographing commemorative plates he scrutinizes our culture of consumption. I may argue that Parr has a sort of love for for certain objects, as any maker does, that sneaks through the stark commentary of his publications.
Critique (new!): This category is intimately linked with the Porn/Artist category of Wednesday. The post will crit the work posted to further our ability to speak of and see pots in academic manner and may help to refine and progress a piece of work, a person’s process, our ability to see, articulate, write and discuss.