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“You are probably going to fail, so unless you are obsessed, almost like a decease, you are not going to make it.” Legendary Martin Parr, regarded as the most crucial figure in contemporary British photography, offers advice to young photographers.
“What you are going to do, of course, is to find a good connection to the world out there. It is the quality of that connection that is really important. So, you find a subject you feel strongly about. Then work out how to articulate that and that hopefully will give you momentum for you to get good work.“
Another thing which is very important for Martin Parr to emphasize is that “you have to look at the history of photography and learn what they have done and achieved and apply that, think about it and have it in the back of your head and then you can apply that to your own work.” By doing that, “you may have the rare opportunity actually to develop your own voice, and you can become a photographer with a particular voice.”
Martin Parr was born in Surrey, United Kingdom, in 1952. He studied photography at Manchester Polytechnic from 1970 to 1973. As a documentary photographer, Martin Parr has worked on numerous photographic projects. He has developed an international reputation for his innovative imagery, his oblique approach to social documentary, and his input to photographic culture within the UK and abroad. In 1994 he became a full member of Magnum Photographic Cooperative. The Martin Parr Foundation, founded in 2014, opened premises in his hometown of Bristol in 2017. It houses his archive, his collection of British and Irish photography by other photographers, and a gallery. Martin Parr’s work is held in prominent institutions like the Tate, The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Christian Lund interviewed Martin Parr at the Martin Parr Foundation in Bristol in December 2021.
Camera: Kyle Stevenson
Edit: Johan von Bülow
Produced by Christian Lund
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2022
Louisiana Channel is supported by Den A.P. Møllerske Støttefond, Ny Carlsbergfondet, C.L. Davids Fond og Samling and Fritz Hansen
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