Martin Parr Explores British Identity in the time of Brexit in “Only Human” Exhibition, on show at the National Portrait Gallery, London from 07 March to 27 May.
This major new exhibition brings together works by one of Britain’s best-known and most widely celebrated photographers, Martin Parr.
Including recognisable photographs alongside works never before exhibited it will focus on one of his most engaging subjects – people.
The exhibition will include portraits of people from around the world, with a special focus on Parr’s wry observations of Britishness, explored through a series of projects that investigate British identity today.
The exhibit focuses on normal people, with a particular focus on the theme of “Britishness” and what it means to be British today.
The exploration of British identity comes as Britain prepares to leave the European Union, a theme that Parr has referenced throughout the exhibition.
Parr explained that “one of the main themes is British identity and given March 2019 is when we are supposedly leaving the European Union, the timing could not be better.”
The works — including famous photographs and images being exhibited for the first time — showcase Parr’s signature style, somewhere between portrait and documentary photography.
“It’s a good time to reflect on who we are, what we’re doing, where we are going – the whole question of British identity,” says Parr.
The accompanying book Only Human by Martin Parr is published by Phaidon:
Only Human: Photographs by Martin Parr
A major new book on Martin Parr explores the photographer’s most enduring subject – people – as never before
By turns witty, surprising, and ingenious, Martin Parr’s photographs reveal the eccentricities of modern life with affection and insight. This book – published to coincide both with Parr’s 2019 exhibition at London’s National Portrait Gallery and also the date the UK will leave the EU – examines what it means to be human at a time of both change and retrospection. Bringing together new work from the last decade, Only Human explores the concepts of Britishness and national identity through the rituals and habits of everyday life.
British photographer Martin Parr (born 1952) is one of the best-known documentary photographers of his generation. The author of more than 90 books and the editor of 30 others, he has firmly established his photographic legacy.
His influence in contemporary photography extends beyond his personal photography practice: he has curated many photography festivals and exhibitions and is a former president of Magnum Photos (of which he has been a member since 1994). Parr’s work is in the collections of many major museums, including the Tate, Centre Pompidou, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Phaidon Press (May 1, 2019)
Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 1 x 10 inches
Weight: 2.9 pounds
Martin Parr’s distinctive style has established him as a leading cultural commentator in contemporary photography. Parr has published over 80 photobooks, and his work has been recognized with major awards and over 100 exhibitions worldwide.
Phillip Prodger is senior research scholar at the Yale University Center for British Art, and was formerly head of photographs at the NPG, London.