Thursday, December 17, 2009


Abovegroup presents Show & Tell Special:
Photographer Martin Parr
Friday, 8th January 2010 from 7:30pm

“Henri Cartier-Bresson came to
my Small World opening in Paris
in 1995 and said I was from
another planet!

I always cherish this remark,
and wrote back, I know
what you mean,
but why shoot the messenger?”



Martin Parr is a chronicler of our age. In the face of the constantly
growing flood of images released by the media, his photographs offer us
the opportunity to see the world from his unique perspective.

At first glance, his photographs seem exaggerated or even grotesque. The
motifs he chooses are strange, the colours are garish and the perspectives are unusual.

Parr’s term for the overwhelming power of published images
is “propaganda”. He counters this propaganda with his own chosen
weapons: criticism, seduction and humour. As a result, his photographs
are original and entertaining, accessible and understandable. But at the
same time they show us in a penetrating way that we live, how we
present ourselves to others, and what we value.

Leisure, consumption and communication are the concepts that this
British photographer has been researching for several decades now on his
worldwide travels. In the process, he examines national characteristics
and international phenomena to find out how valid they are as symbols
that will help future generations to understand our cultural peculiarities.
Parr enables us to see things that have seemed familiar to us in a
completely new way. In this way he creates his own image of society,
which allows us to combine an analysis of the visible signs of globalisation
with unusual visual experiences. In his photos, Parr juxtaposes specific
images with universal ones without resolving the contradictions.

Individual characteristics are accepted and eccentricities are treasured.
The themes Parr selects and his inimitable treatment of them set him
apart as a photographer whose work involves the creation of extensive
series. Part of his unusual strategy is to present and publish the same
photos in the context of art photography, in exhibitions and in art books,
as well as in the related fields of advertising and journalism. In this way,
he transcends the traditional separation of the different types of
photography. Thanks to this integrative approach, as well as his style and
his choice of themes, he has long served as a model for the younger
generation of photographers.

Martin Parr sensitises our subconscious – and once we’ve seen his
photographs, we keep on discovering these images over and over again in
our daily lives and recognising ourselves within them. The humour in
these photographs makes us laugh at ourselves, with a sense of
recognition and release.

- Thomas Weski

Show & Tell is a monthly event hosted by Abovegroup in their studio at
Seven, The Fernandes Industrial Centre, Port of Spain, Trinidad.
Each event features short presentations by globally-minded creatives who have touched the Caribbean environment, vernacular or culture as reference points.

Graphic Design / Photography / Advertising / Branding / Writing / Poetry / Illustration / Architecture / Interior Design / Furniture Design / Landscape Architecture / Urban Planning / Typography / Identity / Chocolate Blending / Spirit Blending / Publishing / Fashion Design / Retail Design / Jewelry / Sculpture / Music / Film / Animation / Fine Arts / just about anything else. Work can be commercial, non-commercial, published, conceptual, personal, whatever.

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