Feb 19 2016

What really goes on in the City of London?

Posted by: Nicholas Shaxson in: Thoughts

John Lanchester has a wonderful description of a new photo exhibition in London by Martin Parr. Read his review, including a nice plug for Treasure Islands.

He describes a set of demands the Occupy movement made to the City of London Corporation (which Lanchester calls “City 2” — City 1 being the financial services industry which is often called “the City.) He continues:

“None of that has happened, or shows any sign of happening. City 2 won that round.

This struggle, however, is not going to go away, not as the gap between the world of finance and the rest of society continues to grow. In the meantime, the City sees no reason to change its ways and will continue on its uniquely closed, uniquely powerful, uniquely unaccountable way. I am a little envious of Martin Parr. The level of access implied in his photographs is one that no writer or journalist will ever – ever – get. You should enjoy his pictures, and make the most of the insight they give into this particular piece of British life. You’re never going to get a closer look.”

Unseen City: Photos By Martin Parr is at Guildhall Art Gallery, London EC2, from 4 March. Parr’s work also appears in Strange And Familiar: Britain As Revealed By International Photographers at the Barbican Art Gallery, London EC2, from 16 March, and The Rhubarb Triangle & Other Stories at the Hepworth Wakefield until 12 June.

I should hasten to add that the photo book The Heavens, by photographers Paolo Woods and Gabriele Galimberti, for which I wrote the text, contains plenty of material on the City of London Corporation too.

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