978-0-7148-3895-3 / 9780714838953

Boring Postcards


Publisher:Phaidon Press



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About the book:

As the title of this little book suggests, each of the postcards that fill its pages is, in a sense, quite boring. Stale, often dully composed images of corporate headquarters, roadways, bus station parking lots, convalescent home dayrooms, hospital cafeterias and undistinguished motels. But look carefully and the cards--culled from the collection of artist Martin Parr-- are filled with fascinating little details. As a group, they offer readers the interesting opportunity to puzzle over the collective psyche of the people of the 1950s and 60s (the approximate vintage of the images) who were inclined to create, buy and send these cards. What, one can't help but wonder, could be so scintillating about a room at the Forte Excelsior Motor Lodge near Pontefract, Yorkshire? The singular force of the orange bedspreads, carpet, drapes and walls punctuated by the inexplicably white leather upholstered panel attached to the wall unit behind each of the room's beds. The exterior of the Mirfield Modern School, shot at a distance and unimaginatively placed dead in the centre of the grey sky and green playing field? The building's Bauhaus-like lines. The tarmac of Luton Airport? The pink jumbo jet being towed into the frame from the left. The uniformly shaped trailers parked at the Freshwater Caravan Camp? The hand-written X that presumably marks the sender's location? The chalets at Llandanwg? Arguably, not much. The few 100 images here, unfettered by any explanatory text, offer a far from dull diversion for any readers interested in mid-century design or the mundane details of daily life. --Jordana Moskowitz

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