Often called one of the most influential documentary photographers in the world, Martin Parr has a portfolio to support this claim. For the first time in Switzerland, the Museum für Gestaltung in Zürich has dedicated a comprehensive exhibit to Parr, who is under the license of the Magnum agency.
Parr's keen eye, British sense of humor and winning personality allow him to get up close and personal with his subjects. Therefore, his photography is often colorful and intense, never simplistic, and always memorable.
When listening to Parr's enthusiastic explanations on why he started collecting Margaret Thatcher memorabilia, Soviet space objects from the Cold War era, or watches featuring Saddamm Hussein, it became clear to me that he is a collector at heart.
This trait can also be seen in his photography, which are (growing) collections ranging from bored couples to behind the scenes looks at tourism hotspots.
"Of all the countries in the world that has clichés, Switzerland scores very highly."
Think of Switzerland
When asked by the curators of the Museum für Gestaltung to portray Switzerland, Parr did not hesitate. As part of the first Swiss exhibit dedicated to this world renowned Magnum photographer, the museum now features the exclusive "Think of Switzerland" project.
A critical (and often humorous) look at the surface of Switzerland, Parr's observations include furry Polo tournaments in St. Moritz, tourist photographs with a St. Bernard on top of Gornergrat, the sometimes anonymous architecture and even an intimate look into people's shopping carts.
So whenever Parr and his camera are out and about, no cliché is safe from being exposed.
- For a preview of "Think of Switzerland", look for issue #837 of "DU" magazine.
- The exhibit "Martin Parr - Souvenir" at the Museum für Gestaltung in Zürich will be on through January 5, 2014.