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Saddam Hussein Watches.
From the collection of Martin Parr.
Chris Boot Ltd, London, 2004. 40 pp., 38 color illustrations, 12x15".

Out-of-print. Limited signed copies available.

Parr has had a long-standing fascination with vernacular uses of photograph, as evidenced in his series of Boring Postcards, and in his general collecting mentality. His two volume set on the history of the photobook, the first volume of which was released this past November, attests to that. As part of the annual photography festival in Arles, France, guest curated by Parr this past year, he included two of his own personal collections: photographic trays (ie. serving trays that feature photographs) and watches with a reproduction of Saddam Hussein on the face. Watches, an unbound, floppy, magazine-like piece that comes in a gold foil bag, was produced as a gift to festivalgoers. It was distributed as part of the welcome pack to participants and given away to visitors to the Artles festival office. The watches, photographed straight on and placed against a yellowish background, were, for the most part, gathered by Parr's colleagues at Magnum during trips to Iraq over the past year, though some of the watches were purchased off the internet. Saddam Hussein Watches is the epitome of collecting made fun.
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