We all know that Martin Parr receives a lot of criticism, if it’s not for his work coming across as patronizing, it’s for his “fakery” or even his obsessive compulsion to create work, make books and attend book signings. “I have a really rare Martin Parr book….. It’s not signed”

For the most part I have defended Parr’s work and his work ethic. He was an influential factor in changing contemporary British photography and that cannot be denied, nor can my admiration for his endless work rate. Certainly I think there are issues with much of his work. From the first set of colour work he created up until the recent dip into Guardian Photojournalist hey has created debate, but isn’t that the point of photography/art. It’s all a debate, unanswered questions, arguments and banter so surely if that is the case Parr is the most successful “creator of debate” in modern photography. One may say that the biggest problem Parr faces is his lack of adaptation to social changes, he seems -on the surface at least- to be “banging out the same old shit”.

All that aside I have a bone to pick with Mr Parr. The University of Falmouth -To which Parr was a student and Lecture- is selling a “Cook Book” of photography as an attempt to raise money for there end of year show. Due to Falmouth’s connections with the photo art world they have pulled in some big hitters such as Alec Soth, Rineke Dijkstra and of Course Martin Parr. This is amazing I could only dream of getting something like this organized for my own end of year show, so my hat goes off to the Students and Lecturers at Falmouth.

However, I resent the fact that Mr Parr as seen it as an opportunity to not only “bang out the same old shit” but -in my opinion “bang out somebody else’s old shit”. Take a look at the image below.

Classic Parr?

So, classic Parr aesthetic and dubious credentials… has this been staged etc. So far so familiar. However doesn’t this picture strike you as a little more familiar than just a Martin Parr-esq image? Sophie Calle anyone? The Chromatic diet is not something that belongs to Sophie Calle but the ideologies attached to it offer so many connotations and Calles work is a perfect example of how peculiar social habits can be both exploited and examined. This “snap” however seems to lack any real gumption on any level. Sure it’s only for a student catalog and sure it was something he might have had to whip up, but surely Parr could have throw more than a few milliseconds of thought into the shot. I know first year degree students that would be torn apart for creating an image so lack luster.

Anyway that’s my Tuesday rant over. All that said I have no doubt the book will be an interesting read. You can check out all the information here….