photographic exhibition

February 8th– March 11th 2020

February 8th, 7pm – 55, Vassil Levski Blvd, Sofia

Side program:
February 20th, 6:30pm
Curator’s tour and screening of
Teddy Gray‘s Sweet Factory, 2011, a short film by Martin Parr

February 29th, 2 – 8pm
ПУК!#11 Photobooks by Martin Parr

Curated by:
Nadezhda Pavlova and Nikola Mihov


Synthesis Gallery has the pleasure to present the exhibition Small World by the British photographer Martin Parr. He is a key figure in contemporary photography, one of the best-known documentary photographers in the world and member of Magnum Photos.
Small World is one of his emblematic projects, a biting satire, exploring world tourism.

Through it, Martin Parr looks at tourism worldwide, exposing a global culture where the search for different cultures has resulted in those same cultures being destroyed. The series was first exhibited in 1995. The exhibition in Synthesis Gallery includes forty photographs taken in the period 1989 – 2019.

In today’s world of ‘carbon footprints‘ and concern over global warming and climate change, the issues that Parr raised over twenty years ago resonate even more powerfully.

“Tourism is the biggest industry in the world, so it seemed inevitable in one sense that I should look at this as a subject. The great thing about tourism is that the expectation what a place will be like and the reality of how place looks and feels are often different. So the basic concept of this project is to explore the difference between the expectation and reality.” – shares Martin Parr.

On the occasion of the exhibition, Synthesis Gallery is publishing a special edition presenting the Small World series. Its graphic design has been inspired by travel brochures published by Balkantourist in the 60s and 70s.

Martin Parr is coming to Bulgaria to present his exhibition in Synthesis Gallery and upon invitation by Inspiration Photo Conference. He will be one of the eight lecturers during the event on February 8th and 9th in Sofia.

This is Martin Parr’s second visit to Bulgaria since 1995 when he showed the exhibition Home and Abroad in Sofia and at The International Photographic Meetings in Plovdiv.

The exhibition is organized in partnership with Inspiration Photo Conference and Martin Parr Foundation with the kind support of Photosynthesis.


About the author:
Martin Parr (b.1952) is a British documentary photographer, photobook collector, curator and editor. He studied photography at Manchester Polytechnic, from 1970 to 1973. He achieved international recognition for photographic projects, such as The Last Resort (1983-85), Small World (1987–1994) and Common Sense (1995–1999), which take an intimate, satirical and anthropological look at aspects of modern life, in particular, documenting the social classes of England and the increasing consumerism of the Western world.

Parr’s work has been collected by many of the major museums, including the Tate, the Pompidou and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 1994 he became a full member of Magnum Photographic Cooperative and was elected president of Magnum Photos International (2013-2017).

He has published over 100 books of his own work, and edited a further 30. Prolific in his activities, Parr has featured in more than 300 exhibitions worldwide, including the 2002 retrospective Martin Parr Photoworks 1971- 2000 at the Barbican, London, which toured Europe for the following five years. Parrworld opened at Haus der Kunst, Munich, in 2008. The show exhibited Parr’s own collection of objects, postcards, his personal photography collection of both British and International artists, photo books and finally his own photographs. The exhibition toured Europe for the following two years.

In 2014, Phaidon published the third volume of the highly influential book The Photobook: A History, co-edited by Martin Parr and Gerry Badger. Martin also worked on a book about the History of Chinese Photobooks, published by Aperture in 2016.

Martin Parr has curated two photography festivals, Recontres D’Arles in 2004 and Brighton Photo Biennial in 2010. More recently he curated the Barbican exhibition, Strange and Familiar, gathering incisive images of his native country captured by artists from abroad.

In 2006 Parr was awarded the Erich Salomon Prize and the resulting Assorted Cocktail show opened at Photokina. At PhotoEspana in 2008, he won the Baume et Mercier award in recognition of his professional career and contributions to contemporary photography. He was also awarded the Sony World Photography Award for Outstanding Contribution to Photography in April 2017.

In 2017, Parr opened the Martin Parr Foundation, a new centre for British photography in Bristol, which aims to support and promote photographers who have made, and continue to make, important work focused on the British Isles. In 2019 Only Human, a major exhibition of his recent work was held at The National Portrait Gallery in London.

Synthesis Gallery expresses its appreciation to:
Martin Parr, Charlotte King, Louis Little, Nathan Vidler, Mike Hale, Jean-Marie Donat, Tilmann Rödiger, Emanuil Treyman, Vili Goutova, Andrea Popyordanova, Mariya Valkova, Georgi Karamanev, Mihaela Mihaylova, Magdalina Stancheva, Valentina Popyordanova, Alexander Vatchev, Yanko Djarov, Sofia Popyordanova, Martin Parr Foundation, Print Center Photosynthesis, Inkpression

Location: SYNTHESIS Gallery - 55, Vassil Levski Blvd, Sofia