Steve McQueen: “It’s about what’s right, not what fits”
Mr. McQueen, what do you expect of yourself as a storyteller?
The truth. The whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God. And that’s it! May it be ugly, may it be beautiful, may it be perverse, may it be all of those things. That’s it, I can’t lie; it is what it is, unabashed, naked. I expect that of myself, that’s for sure.
Is that a pressure?
We’re all going to die so it makes it very easy. (Laughs) I haven’t always thought that way but I’ve realized it’s the truth. I think age gets you there, questioning your mortality… When you realize that, it’s so liberating, it’s so free, you can fly! There’s no need to hold on to anything. Like, think of the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you; it’s probably happened to 500 million people as well. Who gives a shit!
Martin Parr: “I don’t expect to change anyone’s mind”
Mr. Parr, can you still recognize the England that you photographed in the 1970s when you look at the country today?
All countries evolve slowly, you can recognize aspects of life in those decades that still ring true, but of course many things change… So, the answer is yes and no, but that’s not a very good answer, is it? (Laughs)
It seems to me that little has actually changed when looking at your shots of the beach in New Brighton in the mid eighties — elderly people on folding chairs, screaming babies…
I would say somewhere like Hebden Bridge, where I took some of my first photos, has changed more dramatically because the whole economy of that town has changed from the seventies to what it is now. In those days it was still a working class town with factories and manufacturing, whereas it’s now a very big tourist location.