British photographer Martin Parr was asked to search for possible traces of Britishness in and around Hannover – his results are on display from October 18 until February 22 at the Sprengel Museum.
When it comes to documenting cultural traditions, peculiarities and rituals, Martin Parr (born 1952) is one of the most influential photographers of the present day. The commonplace and the absurd are rarely far apart in Parr’s oeuvre. Parr never fights shy of poignant exaggerations and clichés, indeed, they are the order of the day. With his direct gaze and dry sense of humour, Martin Parr is one of the most overt chroniclers of our time.
The photographs to be exhibited at the Sprengel Museum Hannover are the fruits of an invitation: Martin Parr was asked to search for possible traces of Britishness in and around Hannover, the background being not only the celebration of the 300th anniversary of the crowning of the Elector of Hannover as George I of England in 1714 but also the more recent history of Lower Saxony as part of the former British zone of occupation. The present withdrawal of the British forces from Germany has triggered the question concerning the possible existence of British-ness in Germany and/or outward expressions of a common German and British history.
Martin Parr will also be presenting a project on which he has been working for a long time on the Channel Islands of Guernsey and Jersey, which were occupied by German troops from 1940 to 1945. The exhibition, will further immerse the visitor in this British photographer’s peculiarly British world of images captured in such early series as Bad Weather (1982), one of Parr’s early black-and-white series now in the collection of the Lower Saxony Savings Bank Foundation among others.