London’s super-rich: geography, mobility and visual exposure

Quoted from Alpha City by Rowland Atkinson

“The mobility of the alpha city’s rich is facilitated by a Möbius-like remaking of city space. The lifeworld of the city becomes a kind of a continuous strip over which rapid movement can be made, stepping from one zone to another, or from one mode of travel to another. These characteristics are important because being on the move also entails a kind of vulnerability in terms of feelings of exposure, unwanted attention or the security risks that may be experienced, although the latter may be influenced by national background. For the super-rich, visibility is often seen as a problem. This is particularly so in an increasingly synoptic age in which the many watch the few through social media, and where cameras, drones and mobile phones enable reports on the activities of the wealthy to be relayed far and wide.

The photographer Dougie Wallace highlights this unease in his series of portraits of the wealthy as they cross the last few feet of pavement -the vulnerable somatic world of the street- from a private car or taxi to the environs of Harrodsburg (London, not Kentucky). Many of them appear startled or on the cusp of furious indignation as they stare into the lens.”

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