Tim Bowditch is a photographer and filmmaker living and working in London. His practice centers around a documentary underpinning with an interest in how people perceive and interact with space and place. These observations are further explored, exaggerated, abstracted and fictionalised through collaborations with other artists, particularly writers and sound recordists. This work has culminated over the years in the form of ambitious three-year community based projects, outdoor poolside screenings, installations, publications and exhibitions.
Big Dream is the final typology in a trilogy of photographic studies made whilst in Japan. The three studies, that share a rigorous and repetitive aesthetic, are accompanied by three fictional stories by Matthew de Kersaint Giraudeau made in reaction to the photographs and told in the voice of one character.
The photographs were taken at three velodromes in autumn 2011. These velodromes were visited with the primary intention of watching track cycle racing.
The men are betting on Keirin races. Keirin is a form of track cycling that originated in Japan in 1948 and became an Olympic sport in 2000. That is what the men in the photographs are doing. They are looking at the form of the riders in the Keirin equivalent of the Racing Post, making notes and working out their bets.
There is an out-of-time strangeness to the situations. But then maybe all photographs have that quality. Time removed from itself. The men in the pictures emanate this quality too, they are in-between one moment and another. They are frozen by the camera, caught considering their position; never to move on.
‘Big Dream’ is a Keirin-specific betting term. It is an accumulator bet, placed on the last four races of the day. If you pick the first two finishers in those races, you can win a huge amount of money. ‘Big Dream’ – it is a term that seems literal and clunky, an endearing cliché of Japanese to English translation. But it perfectly describes the feeling of looking at these images. The concrete is almost shining in the sun, gleaming with promise. The air is clear and feels clean. The men in the images are frozen in hope. They’ve worked out the odds, put in the time. There is no reason that today shouldn’t be their lucky day.