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In life 'after postmodernism', photography, cinema, television and the internet have all already changed the way we think about pictures. In this book, David Bate opens up a new vista for the discussion of photography. He offers fresh ways of approaching photography, showing how photographs circulate in an 'image world' that exists beyond their art and media origins. He argues that these images permeate people's minds as much as the environment and that photography has affected our sense of time and its relationship to memory. Moving beyond the melancholic realism of Roland Barthes' "Camera Lucida", Bate argues here for a new approach to photography. Taking specific examples to work with, ranging from theatre posters through to medical, documentary and historical art photographs, Bate demonstrates the complex ways in which photographic images resonate across public and private spaces; they also carry a slippage of meaning that is never quite fixed, yet are always social and contingent. These innovative readings of photographs are breathtaking in their breadth as well as their depth and will appeal to a wide audience interested in visual culture as much as to specialists in photography. This book also reveals just how much photography theory urgently needs to renew itself and its methods to address and challenge the orthodox assumptions made about the still image in art and media culture. It is essential reading for students of photography.
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David Bate lives in London, where he is Reader in Photography at the University of Westminster. His many writings on photography, art and culture are widely published and his first book was the highly-acclaimed 'Photography and Surrealism: Sexuality, Colonialism and Social Dissent', published by I.B.Tauris in 2004. Also a practicing artist, his photographic works have been shown in the UK, Europe and North America, most recently at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago in 2006.
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