Throughout the Café and Bar, Richard Whitby presents examples from three strains of printed work. A series of large-scale posters utilise graphic design tactics recognisable from commercial advertising. Potent images and symbols are employed, but without a discernable sales pitch. The disposable, quick-burn nature of a poster and the aggressive treatment the appropriated images are given perhaps suggest an irreverent attitude towards the content (and also the art object itself) but a tight, deadpan style may suggest otherwise.
The second set of posters is a selection from an ongoing series of A3 prints, either of a single image filling the paper, or white text on a coloured background. The prints are reconfigured on each showing, different juxtapositions throwing up new associations. The title of each print describes the origin of the text or image. With each new design, another image or phrase becomes encased within an assimilatory system; personal branding as an interpretative tool; a theft that both elevates a thing to a position of importance and flattens it to the level of others in the collection.
Finally, two small prints mounted on aluminium show found objects photographed on coloured backdrops. Scale becomes unclear, as does the nature of the icon depicted – one somewhere in between a Buddha and Ganesh, the other something like a ‘Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil’ monkey, via European romantic sculpture. The symbols are blurry in origin and application, in a way analogous to the degradation in form associated with the cheap mass-manufacture of the objects.