Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The City.

The City. By Andreas Schmidt. Hatje Cantz, 2009. 144 pp., illustrated throughout, 29,4x25cm. Images from here.

Book description:

"Andreas Schmidt (*1967) captures clear-sighted images on his nighttime rambles through the City of London - the historical heart of the city and one of the world’s financial centers.

As was the case in his photobook 'Las Vegas', which dealt with another glittering, superficial world, here he also documents the seductive glamour of urban financial palaces while never losing sight of their inhuman exorbitance.

Although hundreds of thousands of people work in the City, its dimensions are not human. Everything is oversized, made of steel, glass, and marble, and decorated with mindless ornamental elements. Only emergency exits or indoor plants are of normal size, and they look absurd next to everything else. Empty lobbies, conference rooms, and endless corridors conform to corporate design, but primarily emanate power and coldness.

As the cover of the book attests, the venerable Bank of England long ago began fitting itself out with enormous grandeur: the Neoclassical façade by Sir John Soane (1828) was regarded as an insurmountable barrier for unauthorized persons."

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