Martin Parr: Sign of the Times


In 1992 the BBC aired a documentary called Signs of the Times. Conceived and directed by Nick Barker, it was an early version of reality television. The remit of the documentary was to reveal the varied personal tastes of Britain’s homeowners. The documentary reveals the dreams of ordinary British people, with poignant, comic and controversial results, uniquely revealing the ‘good taste’ of the British heartland.

Martin Parr was asked by Barker to be the stills photographer for the project, and they created a subsequent book to accompany the documentary. The titles of the photographs are all genuine quotes from people in the film. Subtitled Portrait of the Nation’s Taste these photographs give an insightful and amusing view of British taste in the 90s, and are some of Martin Parr’s finest works. This photograph was taken in 1991 and is titled ‘It’s not Stuff that Run of-the-Mill People Would Have in their Homes.’

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