‘A tale of one city’, its title loosely based on Charles Dickens famous novel, is a twenty-first century picture story of life in big cities, the clashing of opposites, the simultaneity of extreme wealth and poverty, excess and deprivation that characterizes one major city but might just be a tale of them all.
The book portraits the city as an accumulation of capital and goods, a metabolic system of buying and selling, a place of constant construction and destruction.
The visual chaos, the urban polarities that we have to navigate on a daily basis, is documented in the classic tradition of the flaneur, the detached observer of the city.
Yet the excessiveness of these seductive, candy-colored images, reveal only one thing: it is our consumption through which we make our lives meaningful. All that colorful, cheap plastic, all the luxurious accessories, seemingly indistinguishable, help us reassert ourselves in a city that only wants our labour value and grants us almost nothing in return.
It is our economy that is pushing the city’s infrastructure, physical and social, to its limit. There’s no place where we can put ourselves, as inhabitants or as viewers of these photos, where we don’t have to recognize our own implication, our own complicity.