90 x 60 cm
More London depicts a familiar urban landscape composed of buildings, street furniture, pavements and people. It is a scene both familiar and quintessentially contemporary, almost to the point of banality, like a genre image, or stock photo created in Photoshop rendering brightly how life might be, and a picture that would not be out of place at an estate agent or property developer’s office. This is so because contemporary urban redevelopment or regeneration as a process largely appears generic. As a signifier of the dis-embeddedness of economic life, metropolitan cities become hothouses for new forms of enclosure or the privatisation of space, with their attendant regimes of surveillance and monetisation, thereby facilitating the complete administration of everyday life. But what is present in this ordinary image of city life is the absence of the violence its reality disavows: ‘more london’ means more redevelopment and more accumulation of capital through the capture of economic rent from assets such as land and real estate. It also means more racialised stratification of social classes, facilitating the destruction of diverse life-worlds through the dispossession of environment and the dislocation of community. As such, isn’t this portrait of regeneration, of more London, really about the violence of extractive urbanism, the harnessing of space, value, infrastructure and the engineering of ways of life, subjected to processes of capitalist valorisation and profit, and to the continued advantage of the few?