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Mitra Tabrizian | City, London 2008 | Type C photograph | 122 x 250cm | Purchased 2010 with a special allocation from the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

Mitra Tabrizian ‘City, London’ 2008

Mitra Tabrizian’s large-format photographs combine techniques from documentary photography and highly stylised mise en scene to capture her subjects and settings with meticulous attention to detail and lighting.

In City, London 2008, Tabrizian invited the senior staff of JP Morgan to be photographed in the lobby of the company’s headquarters in London’s financial district. The work alludes to the global financial crisis that began in 2007, rated the worst international economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The GFC saw the dramatic collapse of large financial institutions, the bailout of banks by national governments and significant drops in stock markets. The accompanying news stories, however, often rendered the link between the world of the financial sector and the actuality of people who were losing their livelihoods, their homes and their sense of hope, as an abstraction. Tabrizian constructs the corporate environment in the stasis of the aftermath, in the tradition of history painting. While the architecture’s solid pillars and marble surfaces suggest permanence and prosperity, the bankers appear disconnected, disorientated in their surroundings and self-absorbed in their predicament.

Categories: Artist, Exhibition

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