Tray with photo, from the Parr collection, courtesy of the Jeu de Paume
As well as being a display of one man’s fantastic collection of vintage trays, Planète Parr (‘Parr World’) is also a wonderful insight into the interests and inspirations of Martin Parr, Magnum photographer and visual commentator on modern life.
The show juxtaposes photographs, books and objects from Parr’s collection with his own work. Many of the photos in his collection, in particular those of John Hinde, official photographer of Butlins holiday camps in the 1960s and 1970s, feed into Parr’s own work, which is charged with a sort of unromanticised nostalgia for Great British traditions.
John Hinde, from the Butlin’s series, 1960s
Martin Parr (not on show in the Jeu de Pume exhibition)
Despite his affection for British subjects, Parr engages with international subjects – his series Luxury and Small World, and his baffling collection of memorabilia are testament to this. Luxury (1994 – 2008) light-heartedly exposes the sweaty human reality behind high society events, from Russia, to Dubai, France and South Africa. Small World (on show in the Tuileries outside the Jeu de Paume) documents the spectacle of mass tourism. By displaying these photos alongside his collection of cheap souvenirs (Obama flip-flops, special edition Spice Girl chocolate bars, Sadam Hussein watches), the exhibition reveals Parr’s interest in global consumer culture and his subtle satire of modern mores.
Martin Parr, from the Luxury series, 1994 – 2008
Planète Parr is on at the Jeu de Paume until 27/09/08