Metropole documents the brutal uprooting of London’s foundations at the hands of corporate developers, for the benefit of wealthy investors and absentee property speculators. In the wake of aggressive high-end development, genuinely affordable housing has diminished and residents of London are pushed ever further out from the core. Bush takes a psychogeographical approach to photographing the city’s evolving urban landscape and presents extensive research behind 28 major developments — including the property developers behind these schemes and their use of opaque offshore financial structures and political lobbying.
Once known as the Metropole, London was the mother city at the heart of a vast empire which at its peak encompassed a quarter of all land on the planet. Its maternal name belied a profoundly hierarchical and unequal relationship with power radiating outwards from the urban heart, and territorial riches feeding back in return. The British Empire has long since collapsed but in its place has risen a new world power; globalised capitalism. London — rebranded an 'investment opportunity' — is now a city of continuous demolition, shifting cranes, and glittering new high rises.
Photographed over dozens of winter nights spent wandering through the escalating city, Metropole records the dizzying effects of a capital influx on London. The frameworks of luxury residential towers are documented during construction, and the use of double exposures layers building upon building. This proliferating tangle mirrors the threatening scale of alteration in the city. Perspective and orientation are lost in the process, emulating the sense of loss that many Londoners now feel.