18th October 2019

Martin Parr (2008), Objects. London: Chris Boot Ltd

Front cover

While searching for images of pages from the book, I kept getting hits on the word ‘Parrworld.’ On looking this up I have found that the ‘Object’ book came paired with another book, called Postcards. If you follow this link to the article, ‘Parrworld – Objects and Postcards,’ on the website aperture.org, the box set is reviewed and it shows some of the books photographs of Parrs collections.

I like the book but there are those that do not and have responded to it negatively. I like how the objects are presented like cut outs on a white background, sometimes presented on their own and other times in pairs or groups of objects. It reminds me of cataloguing items for sale in an auction, clean, clear and precise. This presentation lets the objects stand out, we see their outline, forms and colour more and it reminds me of the work I have researched on the German photographer Karl Blossfeldt, where the plants (his subject matter) is separated from its background by use of a white piece of card or paper behind it.

The pages are filled with history, some of the themes are the absurd and strange, memorabilia connected with politics and music, space, chocolate and crisp wrappers with the Spice girls on them, watches and clocks with photographs of ‘famous’ and ‘infamous’ people of the time and even kitchen trays with bizarre and humorous photographs printed on them. The list is quite endless in fact.

For me, again, is the pleasure of delving backwards into a time gone by. Looking at historical context and wondering, for example, ‘Why on Earth would you produce that theme on watches and who would buy them?’ I have even thought out loud and exclaimed to my bewildered daughters who were trying to ignore me – ‘I can remember those!’

I am finding the book contents intriguing and have been going back to it when I am having little breaks during the day. We find out that Parr gets most of his objects through the likes of Ebay. Snap! I say to myself and then I go and look up items and themes within the book myself. This was a bit problematic as I came across other things I would love to start collecting and displaying, although they are unrelated to Parr’s collections.

It has been such a pleasure discovering Parr and I know this journey definitely will not be ending.

The book is a definite ‘Yes, book for me!”

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