'On the Verge’ is a collaborative project with writer John Douglas Millar. It imagines a psychogeography of the financial district of London to suggest possible effects of architecture of power upon the individual human psyche. As Susan Sontag remarked, in the contemporary city where we are over-stimulated to the point of hysteria, two options seem to remain, the schizoid fracturing of our mental processes or a cold impenetrable cynicism. ‘On the Verge’ longs for transcendence, a moment of wholeness, or a moment of divine madness in a world in which, as Eliot wrote in The Waste Land, the best we can hope for is to shore ourselves ‘against these ruins’.
This project offers an insight into one of the world’s most largest financial districts: Canary Wharf. The project operates as a cartography of the corporate enclave. It consists of a series of large format photographs taken from rooftops, from reception areas and at street level. The images can be seen as typologies of the expression of an ideology of power as it is embedded in the modern institution.
However, they resist giving any indication of the banks and multinational conglomerates which operate there. The systematic approach to documentation draws attention to the power of photography to reveal mechanisms of the corporation designed to banish any obstacles to profit and, moreover, highlights the influence of corporate power in shaping the global city.
This project looks at the differences between imagined possibilities and reality through the eyes of a migrant. Lunar House is perceived as the front line of Britain’s immigration service and is for many people the first step in a quest to be accepted into a carefully-regulated ‘inside State’.
The building which houses the UK Border Agency, a fearfully drab concrete slab of bureaucracy in East Croydon is placed in relation to two almost symmetrical portraits of Leon, a blonde British child.