When Martin Parr has his latest book printed in an ultra-cheap print shop in Mexico and, while they’re at it, lets them do the sequencing and design as well, I think that’s a good thing. Good as in necessary – as an irreverent counterweight to the technically perfect (and perfectly boring).
However, when I took a walk through Chelsea last week, technically horrendous did not make much sense at all. When galleries try to sell large format fine art prints for a couple of thousand dollars each and, for example, every single print on display has the same (admittedly faint, but clearly visible) marks that suspiciously look like the result of clogged print heads, I think it’s a disgrace. Call me old fashioned, but I go with the adage that you should know the rules of your craft before you break them – with skill and imagination, and not by accident.
That said, I think I’d like to do a show with prints from a large format inkjet printer too, only with the print heads removed altogether. Makes perfect sense, does it not?