Martin Parr is not only a photographer. He is also an almost obsessive collector.Â He has a huge collection of Saddam Hussein watches, for example. He has made compilations and books of the ‘boring’ postcards he has gathered. He also has a house-full of photography books he has collected around the world. (When he was in Mexico City to give a TÃ³xico Master-Class we accompanied him to many antique book shops, where he hunted down a few not very well known but amazing books he was looking for.)
“Objects”, his latest book, shows almost 500 eccentric items gathered by him over 30 years, many from online auctions.
Says Parr in the intro:
I have a very strong collecting gene, and the pages of this book are testimony to this condition. It started early. When I was very young I gathered together a museum of items such as pellets (balls of fur and bones, spat out by birds of prey), fossils and birdsâ€™ nests in the cellar of our semi in Chessington, Surrey.
This book contains a suite of collections that are interlinked. They echo the themes of my work as a photographer, which I also define as a form of collecting. By applying some order to our chaotic world, and assembling things into categories and ultimately into a book or a show, I can make a more coherent statement about my relationship to the world.
You may wonder what exactly it is that fuses all these items together into one resolved collection. It all seems very obvious and logical to me. These are the items that are left behind after momentous and not-so momentous events, or after world leaders are long gone. They are shadows of human foible.
(The Objects book will be published by Chris Boot LTD, in May 09.)
(Chris Boot was also a TÃ³xico International Guest.)
(You can read an article Parr wrote for The Guardian here.)