Brighton Photo Biennial 2010: Curator Martin Parr inside The House of Vernacular at Fabrica

| 01 October 2010
A photo of the entrance to a house
In his own words: Brighton Photo Biennial 2010: Curator Martin Parr takes us inside The House of Vernacular at Fabrica...

"There are seven bodies of work and each body is an installation, an area where you can go through and enjoy it the way you might go through a ghost train in a theme park. This is our entrance.

This venue is an open-plan church, and for every show Fabrica do they create an open-plan platform – it's one of the things they enjoy doing. I think [Fabrica co-director] Matthew Miller's done an amazing job, quite brilliant.

A photo of family portraits hanging on a wall
Riedl had collected 5,000 of the family portraits
This is our parlour. It's a Brazilian living room and if you go to any living room in the North-East of Brazil you’ll find, even now, these traditional hand-coloured photo paintings.

When I was in Sao Paulo at the Latin-American Photo Forum, which happens every three years, I met this guy [Titus Riedl] who came up to me and said 'there's something I want to show you.' He had about ten of these images on his computer and I was immediately taken aback.

People come up to you all the time and say 'I want to show you this, I want to show you that' – people write to me constantly, which is great. But of course, it's not often that you see something as amazing as this. So I talked to him and it turned out that he lives in this quite rural town and over the last five years he'd collected 5,000 of these. Nobody puts any value on them whatsoever.

I basically decided to try and make a book about them, and the following year I met him in Fortaleza. He travelled overnight, for 12 hours, to get there on the bus. He arrived with two binbags full of what he thought was a reasonable edit, down to 300 or 400. We spent a night in my hotel bedroom editing them for a book of around 60 pictures, which is what you see.

Because it's a frame-free festival we had to print our frames, because we wanted to frame them but we didn't want real frames. They're all from the North-East of Brazil.

He's still collecting them. There's one guy in Brazil who still does them – he still has the equipment, so I got my picture taken. Others still do it as well, but it's all computerised now."

The House of Vernacular is at Fabrica from tomorrow (October 2) until November 28 2010.


Logo for the Brighton Photo Biennial
Culture24 at the Brighton Photo Biennial 2010:
Martin Parr on curating the festival
Artist's Statement: Alejandro Chaskielberg
Artist Molly Landreth on Queer Brighton
Video: Alec Soth on Brighton Picture Hunt
Our preview of the Brighton Photo Fringe
Five to see at the Fringe: Part One
Behind the Scenes: Three Views of Brighton
John Deakin's Gods and Monsters in Chichester
Laura Burgess on the education programme
"Cutting edge" programme announced for 2010
More on the venues and organisations we've mentioned:
Related listings (148)
See all related listings »
Related resources (46)
See all related resources »
advertisement