‘Icons; The Photography of Martin Parr and Sophie Calle’
“Apparently trivial matters…when peered at carefully, reveal crucial expressions of private
and social identity.” – Nicholas Bunker, ‘Sign of the Times’
Photographers Martin Parr and Sophie Calle take photographs of the very ordinary. They are described as being ‘social documentary’ photographers with subject matter focusing on varying topics; from modern manners to social mores, burgeoning materialism in contemporary society and an inspection of the minutiae that make up everyday living – the highs and lows of love affairs in ticket stubs and incalculable grief in black and white doorway. This lecture explores how these artists, along with Richard Billingham and Dorothea Lange have provided an archive for recent times. By focusing on the mundane we will discover that this work is perhaps that which defines a modern iconography – ‘A visual parameter for central categories of the human experience.’
Duration 90 minutes
Thursday 23rd March RCC Letterkenny
Christina Mullan is an artist and researcher working in Donegal. She graduated from GMIT with an MA in the Critical Theory of art. Her work aims to identify key constructive elements of successful artistic practice. It applies a phenomenological reduction to such notions as ‘the void’ and transcendence in the painted image. Utilised in contemporary philosophy and art theory, these terms have until now addressed painting from the position of the viewer, rather than painter.
By considering the role of materials/elements she examines the processes by which contemporary paintings are made and the effect of materials upon the resultant art object. This has resulted in a heretofore unconsidered hypothesis on the nature of materials – their roles in the development of art and their impact on its history. She is concerned with attempting to shed new light by constructing a theoretical and philosophical evaluation based in methodology and the tactile concerns of the artist rather than the galleried consideration of the spectator or critic. Key elements in her work focus on the notion of the sublime, materiality/substance, aesthetics and the phenomenology of the painted image.
Image credit: Martin Parr