Collecting photos, collecting world
The exhibition ‘Martin Parr, Photography and Collecting’ at the CCCB
Why do people take photos when traveling? What do they really want to capture? Why do people buy souvenirs? This is exactly what the exhibition of Martin Parr explores: the surprising relations between photography and collecting in the context of the touristic experience.
Thus, the show examines whether Parr’s photography seeks to intervene in reality at an analytical level or rather intends to record percussive images that are in general shocking, grotesque or kitsch outright, with a purely illustrative or aesthetic end. On the other hand, beyond any strict sociological work we cannot forget Parr’s technical and poetic approach in his photographs.
Photography as collecting
What photographies capture, and is therefore likely to be collected, are experiences. As Susan Sontag said, “collecting photographs is collecting the world. [...] Photographs are experience captured”. The photograph creates a fragmented reality, dissolving the unitary vision, and more importantly, endowing everything it records with importance, thus placing in a plane of equality what was previously considered beautiful and what was not. In this sense, the exhibition also proposes a reflection on the meaning of the insignificant.
Collecting as an identifying reflex of the collector, as a portrait, as a photograph
The exhibition also includes a set of pieces, made from the photographic work of Martin Parr (self-portraits, the Small World series on the touristic experience, ex novo photographic work on Barcelona and tourism, photographs of Juanjo Fuentes’ house) and objects from his own collection (“Boring Postcards”, souvenir objects, etc.), along with Juanjo Fuentes’collection just as it is laid out at his home in Málaga.
The Exibition runs until the 21st of October at CCCB