During his interview on the dvd Contact: The Renewal of Contemporary Photography, Martin Parr describes himself as photographing on the front lines. Rather than photographing protests in Iran or Baghdad, he’s photographing grocery stores in Britain and beaches in Brazil, middle class life in much of the world.
I like to think I’m on the front lines, photographing my own life and home, my real life.
Under the Milky Way is a project about finding meaning in the everyday. There isn’t necessarily any irony, or even clear record of sorts, but rather these are pictures about a life being lived — seeing children learn to walk and talk, cottonwood seeds scattered in my driveway, things dropped and discarded through the course of a day — and hoping that means something, that it can offer a glimpse into a fuller understanding of life.
Why me? Why here? Why now? Why do I experience this instead of that?
I like to think we all lead a life of consequence, though typically that is too hard to see. Under the Milky Way is an attempt to understand this life of my own, the struggles and meanings in an ordinary life.
Like I learned from James Joyce, the epic is the everyday.