THE AMALFI COAST
November 27, 2014 - February 28, 2015
With the discovery of the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum, the ancient city of Naples, crossroads of
the Mediterranean, attracted the attention of Grand Tour travellers who, began to visit the city. The
sharp contrasts of the city still continue to inspire contemporary artists.
In the wake of this tradition and having promoted site-specific projects since 1974, Studio Trisorio
commissioned Martin Parr to develop a project on this celebrated city and its bay. Thus over a
two-year period the artist focused his attention on some of the area’s most famous tourist attractions
including Pompeii, Capri, Amalfi and Sorrento.
In one of Europe’s most densely populated regions, the seaside resorts are particularly crowded
during the month of August and at the week-ends, by local residents with their anthropological rituals
of gathering together – ironically documented by Parr’s attentive, amused gaze – but never mingling
with the foreigners who are in search of icons of luxury and celebrity (Capri) and the picturesque (the
Sorrento Peninsula, the islands of Ischia and Procida and the Amalfi Coast).
If, indeed, it is true that «a day at the beach is the same the world over» (Martin Parr), the local variants
of the gestures and rituals imposed by globalization, the way in which people present themselves
or impose themselves on others, or the manner in which couples have time together in absolute
promiscuity and a total lack of privacy, reveal the innumerable nuances of a completely Neapolitan
manner of living to the artist: all together in continuous communication via looks, noises and words
adapted to the limited conditions of space imposed by the impervious cliffs.
Since the Nineties, Martin Parr has explored the concept of consumerism intended as a paradoxical
ideology of contemporary society. With his dry, scathing humour, he describes the most common
habits, tastes and stereotypes and places emphasis on the more grotesque aspects of some social
behaviour. Above all, his work is a representation of reality in a world where the boundary between
reality and its stereotypes is becoming progressively blurred.
Martin Parr was born in Epsom, England in 1952. Currently President of the Magnum Photographic
Corporation of which he has been a member since 1994.
His photographs are part of numerous international public collections including the Arts Council
in Great Britain, the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, the Paul Ghetty Center in Los Angeles,
the MOMA in New York, the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, the Los Angeles County
Museum and the Tate Modern in London. Since the 1980s, Martin Parr has published some fifty
catalogues. In June, 2009, the Jeu de Paume National Gallery in Paris dedicated an exhibit,
Planéte Parr, to his work in which, the artist’s collection of strange, heteroclite objects reflecting
the hollowness of consumer society were shown together with his most well known photographs.
Till February, 22, the show We Love Britain! by the Sprengel Museum of Hannover, explores the
relationship between Lower Saxony and the UK.