Interesting subject matters disguised as entertainment


General Photography

It’s worthwhile to comment on this interview with Martin Parr.

Just look at this exchange:

“M.P.: […] I shoot interesting subject matter but disguise it as entertainment. That’s what people want in magazines. I like to play the game where you can get interesting ideas in, but almost in disguise.

“PDN: So what’s the message you disguise in the Beijing car show images?

“M.P.: The message is ambiguous and open ended. I’m not preaching. I’m not saying the phenomenal growth of cars is entirely right or wrong. Like everything in the world, there’s a good side and a bad side.”

Parr doesn’t say what the message actually is (all we get to hear is that it’s “ambiguous and open ended”), and we also learn that he is not “preaching” (apparently, having an opinion is now the same as “preaching”) and that “Like everything in the world, there’s a good side and a bad side.” (Sunday School anyone?)

This is a vision of contemporary photojournalism? Ambiguous messages that are somehow hidden behind entertaining photographs? Really? So what then will make people see the photographs of girls at some Chinese car show as anything else but, well, photos of girls at some Chinese car show? Isn’t that hanging the bar of photojournalism so low that now it’s actually buried underground?