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29

MONDAY

When I last caught up with English Magnum photographer Martin Parr, I posited that with Common Sense, a colorful survey of lowbrow consumerism, and Boring Postcards, a deadpan collection of just that, he was letting a little air into a satiric worldview that often seemed stifling, crabbed, and puny. Two years later, I know I spoke too soon. In Phaidon’s new retrospective monograph, Martin Parr, the standoffishness of the middle-class aesthete is consistently melded with the submerged nostalgia of the sub-rosa village-green preservationist. Nothing makes the case so cleanly as shots from 2000’s Autoportrait, a smug piece of self-mythologizing in which Parr, in a variety of no-name commercial studio portraits, manages to look both utterly ordinary and completely out of place. As he resentfully slices off the portions of public turf that human folly has rendered uninhabitable to him, the nagging question remains: Where could he imagine himself at home? It’s a small enough island already. Tonight he tries D.C. at 7 p.m. at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919. (Glenn Dixon)