Tag Archives: irony

Research point – How is irony used to comment on British-ness or American values?

Martin Parr.

I believe Martin Parr’s documentary projects of the mid 1990’s may be a good example of this.  Parr’s ‘Common Sense’ project looks is a rather the British view of junk food, tacky souvenirs and package holidays and the British class system.  His images of the English eating fish and chips in an English by the sea, tearoom table cloths and old men’s flat caps are put together to suggest that these are British cultural idiosyncrasies which are dying out.  The irony being that all these images which are quintessentially stereo typical of the English working class man is a world that is in fact disappearing.

joel-sternfeld-man-with-beer

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=joel+sternfeld+photography&view=detailv2&id=C3CC95ED3A0DC2E1DAD07448B860303151705FB5&selectedindex=17&thid=OIP.M2fbb4d6260df61a21bdf7457037f430eo0&stid=c82f8db6-e889-f46d-7790-c014b5d39522&cbn=EntityAnswer&mode=overlay&first=1&ccid=L7tNYmDf&simid=608028616775567351

Joel Sternfield

In the early 1990’s Sternfield took a large format 8″x 10″ view camera on a tour of America searching for images that he later published in his book ‘Stranger Passing’ (2001).  Sternfield took portraits of ordinary Americans representing recognised social types, teenagers, drifters on the road side, etc. Sternfield combined his interest in the subject with his interest in landscape by framing his subjects in context with their surroundings.  An example is a photo of a Hitchhiker perched on a shopping trolley by the side of the road, behind him is an unhitched farmers trailer, clearly going no-where as so, metaphorically, neither is the subject.

 

 

 

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