Life Unfiltered: The Anonymous Project Meets Martin Parr

reading time: 2 Minutes

Project founder Lee Shulman discusses a new book that blends Barr’s archive with old slides he’s collected nearly half a decade ago.

Lee Shulman first meeting Martin Bar in a Arles. It was 2019, and Schulman was showing a bunch of photos from The Anonymous Project in a show called the home, at the Maison des Peintres when a Magnum photographer “literally” bumped into him. Barr was and still is somewhat of a hero to Schulman, and the two talked. Fast forward two years, and we collaborated on a book, Already watching.

For those who are not familiar unknown project, is a collection of about 3,000 vintage slides from the 1950s to the 1980s that Schulman has been collecting and preserving since 2017. The ever-expanding archive began with a box of slides the director found at a flea market. He was fascinated by the images of everyday moments captured by family and friends – lost or neglected, and likely forgotten. “I know almost every photo by heart,” Shulman says.

From this collection and Barr’s archive, in which Schulman was at liberty, the director made 300 pairs of remarkably similar images. Among those featured in the book, some are notable in their similarity, so much so that viewers may find them strange, even disturbing. However, most of them get acquainted with the amusement and pleasure in their spouses. Kodachrome’s signature hue and Parr’s signature use of flash give the pages an impressive brightness. In fact, the book begins with an interview with Shulman and Barr called “Color Conversations”.

© Marin Parr, Courtesy of Magnum Photos.

© Marin Parr, Courtesy of Magnum Photos.

© Anonymous Project.

“Photography is for people, not just people who work in photography.”

Lee Shulman

in a Already watching, photos of Parr are shown on the left, and The Anonymous Project on the right. “But as you go through the book, you forget,” Shulman says. I wasn’t trying to confuse the barrier, and that wasn’t the intention. but [in it] There’s a great conversation we both care about – that photography is for people, not just people who work in photography.”

With its lemon yellow cover and metallic blue script, the book was released by Small Hoxton Press Last month, it was a charming visual conversation between a photography icon and a hobbyist. ““I suddenly realized the connection between what I was doing and what he was doing,” Shulman says. “For him, being a photographer isn’t just about taking a picture—because then everyone would be a photographer. It’s about the image you choose.”

© Marin Parr, Courtesy of Magnum Photos.

© Anonymous Project.

“This book is pure, simple, and straightforward. To me, that is all I love the most.”

Martin Bar

There is truth in this [kind of] Adds Shulman, who notes that none of the slides from The Anonymous Project were ever cropped or edited. In the same way, Barr is known for his disregard for “overthinking” in his work. Indeed, in the printed conversation, Barr quoted: “This book is pure, simple, and straightforward. To me, that is all I love the most.”

Leave the show Published by Hoxton Mini Press and now available. For more information, head over to website

Cover of Deja View, Martin Parr, The Anonymous Project, Hoxton Mini Press

Post-Life Unfiltered: The Anonymous Project meets Martin Parr first appeared in 1854 Photography.

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