https://www.epo.org/en/node/martin-parr

Martin Parr 

The Last Resort (35), 1986 
C-Print
51 x 61 cm

The enchanting world of leisure is a central theme in these colourful works by Martin Parr (*1952, Epsom, GB). The photographs are part of a series of forty entitled The Last Resort, in which Parr captured sunbathers, fun seekers and diners at New Brighton, the Liverpool beach resort. Dating from the years 1983 to 1985, the scenes of English working-class people taking a break at the seaside display the bright, saturated colours that have become a hallmark of the British photographer’s work. 

There is a certain edginess about these images, which could be said to capture the zeitgeist of 1980s England. The series title is a play on words, insofar as the phrase “last resort” implies a final course of action after everything else has failed; whereas the place referred to as a resort is typically frequented for holidays or recreation. Bearing in mind the deteriorating social and economic conditions experienced by many during the course of the decade, some of the seafront settings take on a particularly brutalist look: an anonymous, largely empty paved area obscuring the view of the sea or a hard steep slope culminating in a flight of concrete stairs. However, life goes on. Though controversial at the time, the photo series had something of a revolutionary effect in England, established a place for documentary photography in contemporary art and made Parr famous worldwide. His use of colour film and flash almost makes each moment he captures seem hyperreal. 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 
 

Martin Parr, The Last Resort (1 / 9 / 23 / 31 / 35), 1986   C-Prints   5 works, each 51 x 61 cm

 

Martin Parr, The Last Resort (1 / 9 / 23 / 31 / 35), 1986   C-Prints   5 works, each 51 x 61 cm

 

Martin Parr, The Last Resort (1 / 9 / 23 / 31 / 35), 1986   C-Prints   5 works, each 51 x 61 cm

 

Martin Parr, The Last Resort (1 / 9 / 23 / 31 / 35), 1986   C-Prints   5 works, each 51 x 61 cm

The Last Resort (1 / 9 / 23 / 31), 1986 
C-Print
4 works, each 51 x 61 cm

© Martin Parr