David Bate’s most recent photographic work has explored issues of globalization and technology. Taken from the series Indian Notes on Democracy, and photographed in Delhi, India in February 2013, the aim of this installation is multiple: to disrupt the usual habits of billboard images as the consumption of advertising messages, to question our notions of social space and street culture, and to reflect on perceptions of what the differences are between first and third world street spaces. In this way the pictures enable a direct contrast between the photographic image of a street and an actual street to bring about a different view of ‘the street’, and reflect upon the local location, culture and environment. Through humour and curiosity the photowork can challenge a range of (perhaps unpredictable) assumptions we make about our own environment and the preconceptions of what ‘other’ street environments are like.
The work is showing now as a ‘public art’ project, visible on the Newcastle Metro illuminated billboards system. The show is part of THE SOCIAL: ENCOUNTERING PHOTOGRAPHY festival in Sunderland and the North East of England taking place from 18 October to 16 November 2013.
David Bate is a writer and photo-artist based in London, UK. His projects are informed by cultural theory and conceptual art, and deal with specific aspects of otherness in public and private space. His many writings on avant-garde artists and photography include the books Zone (Artworks, 2012), Photography: Key Concepts (Berg, 2009) and Photography and Surrealism (IB Tauris, 2004). He studied film, photography and art history and is currently Professor of Photography at the University of Westminster, London, where he is Course Director of the renowned MA Photographic Studies programme. He is also co-editor of photographies journal.