Last Updated April 17, 2021

The Last Resort, Martin Parr

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ISBN/ISSN :  978-1904587798 
Author/Editor: Martin Parr
Publisher: Dewi Lewis Publishing
Publication Languages: English
Genre: Documentary
Price: £20.40

Martin Parr is a member of the Magnum photo agency, and is recognised as a satirist of contemporary life. He has led the development of British documentary photography with wit, style, and perception.

When this book was first published and exhibited in 1986 it divided both critics and audiences alike. Some saw it as the finest achievement to date of colour photography in Britain whilst others viewed it as an aberration . With the benefit of hindsight there is little doubt that it transformed documentary photography in Britain and placed Parr amongst the world s leading photographers. The book is now recognised as a classic and is highly sought by collectors worldwide. Steering a perilous course between objectivity and voyeurism, Parr viewed the decaying holiday resort of New Brighton and its holidaymakers in a way that was new, unique and deeply disturbing. And he did so in colour, something which at the time was seen as revolutionary for documentary work. For some his camera seemed cold and cruel as it followed the working classes desperately pursuing their holiday dreams surrounded by dereliction and decay and wading through the apparently endless detritus of a pollution-ridden consumer society. Others felt it showed an affectionate, humorous and humanistic response from Parr. However it was viewed, it was undoubtedly a sharp, bitter satire of the Britain of the Thatcher years.

The original edition of the Last Resort was published by Promenade Press in 1986. This revised edition, first published by Dewi Lewis Publishing in 2009, shows the original work, but with a new essay by Gerry Badger that examines how the perception of this body of work has changed over the decades since the original publication.

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