Martin Parr: Short & Sweet

“One can learn much more about the country where you live from a comedian than from a conference of sociologists”
Martin Parr

Martin Parr, a globally recognized photographer featured in prestigious collections such as Tate, Pompidou, and MOMA, brings his exhibition “Short & Sweet” to Mudec Photo from February 10 to June 30, 2024.
Parr, celebrated for his distinctive style blending absurdity, irony, and drama, shifts focus from polarized themes to the intricate fabric of ordinary life. The exhibition, a collaboration between 24 ORE Cultura – 24 ORE Group, the Municipality of Milan – Culture Department, and the Deloitte Foundation, showcases over 60 personally selected photographs by Parr, including highlights from the iconic “Common Sense” series.
Opening with “The Non-Conformists,” a black-and-white series capturing life in northern England between 1975 and 1980, the exhibition seamlessly transitions through Parr’s exploration of British weather in “Bad Weather.” The journey continues with “The Last Resort” (1982-85), a poignant reflection on economic decline in northwest England, marking Parr’s shift to color photography.
“Common Sense” stands out with over 200 A3 photographs critiquing mass consumption and waste culture. The exhibition creatively transforms this series into an accumulation of vibrant images, offering a unique, site-specific experience.

The global lens of Martin Parr unfolds in the “Small World” series (1989-2008), critiquing mass tourism, and “Everybody Dance Now” (1986-2018), exploring dance as a democratic form of expression. “Establishment” (2010-2016) dives into the British elite, reinventing clichés with Parr’s characteristic humor.
The exhibition further explores “Life’s a Beach” (2013), showcasing global beach scenes, and “Fashion” (1999-2019), offering a satirical take on fashion and societal norms.
As a visual journey through contemporary society, Martin Parr’s exhibition at Mudec Photo captures the contradictions with an edgy, unfiltered, and often humorous lens. Complementing this experience is the exhibition catalogue, “Martin Parr: Short & Sweet,” published by 24 ORE Cultura.

About the Author

Born in Epsom, Surrey, UK, in 1952, Martin Parr’s early passion for photography was nurtured by his grandfather, an avid amateur photographer. He studied photography at Manchester Polytechnic from 1970 to 1973.
Over the years, Parr has gained international acclaim for his innovative imagery and unique approach to social documentary. In 1994, he became a full member of the Magnum Photographic Cooperative.
Parr expanded his interests into filmmaking, fashion, and advertising. Notably, he holds the Guinness World Record for the largest simultaneous photography exhibition, showcasing “Common Sense” in 41 galleries globally on April 1, 1999.
A retrospective of Parr’s work initiated by the Barbican Art Gallery and the National Media Museum toured Europe from 2002 to 2007. He served as Professor of Photography at The University of Wales Newport from 2004 to 2012.
Parrworld, an exhibition featuring Parr’s collection and a new project titled “Luxury,” opened in Munich in 2008, touring Europe for two years. In the same year, he curated the New Typologies exhibition at the New York Photo Festival.
In 2010, Martin Parr curated the Brighton Photo Biennial and was a visiting Professor at the University of Ulster until 2013 when he became a 0.2FTE Professor of Photography.
In Spring 2015, Aperture published “The Chinese Photobook,” a collaboration between Parr and Wassinklundgren. In March 2016, “Strange and Familiar,” curated by Parr, opened at the Barbican, exploring international photographers’ perspectives on the UK since the 1930s.
Parr received the Sony World Photography Award for Outstanding Contribution to Photography in April 2017 and served as the president of Magnum Photos from 2013 to 2017.
The Martin Parr Foundation opened in Bristol in Autumn 2017. In March 2019, “Only Human” opened at the National Portrait Gallery, London, focusing on British identity.
In June 2021, Martin Parr was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s birthday honours, and in 2023, he received an honorary degree from the University of South Wales. Parr has authored over 120 books and edited 30.


Martin Parr: Short & Sweet
February 10 to June 30, 2024
Mudec Museum – Milan – Italy


More info:

A portrait of Martin Parr
Sandals, from Common Sense, 1995-1999 © Martin Parr/Magnum Photos
New Brighton, England, 1985, from The Last Resort. Photographs of New Brighton © Martin Parr/Magnum Photos
Common Sense, 1995-1999 © Martin Parr/Magnum Photos
Benidorm, Spain, 1997, from Life’s a Beach © Martin Parr/Magnum Photos
Hamburger, from Common Sense, 1995-1999 © Martin Parr/Magnum Photos
Miami, Florida, USA, 1998, from Life’s a Beach © Martin Parr/Magnum Photos
Pisa, Italy, 1990, from Small World © Martin Parr/Magnum Photos
Inflatable doll, from Common Sense, 1995-1999 © Martin Parr/Magnum Photos
Mayor of Todmorden’s inaugural banquet Todmorden, West Yorkshire, England, 1977, from The Non-Conformists © Martin Parr/Magnum Photos
The Queen visiting on the occasion of the 650th anniversary of the Worshipful Company of Drapers Drapers’ Livery Hall, London, England, 2014, from Establishment © Martin Parr/Magnum Photos

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