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Abracadabra: London’s Transcendent Reverse

United Kingdom

It was in 2012, nine years ago, that fate brought me from Poland to London. There I began my life as an immigrant, and later, a fully fledged Londoner.

On my way there, somewhere in the French countryside, an old Arab man shook his head in horror when I told him my destination, “Don’t go there,” he told me, “materialism, tourism, and consumerism have killed all spirit in London. There’s no soul there anymore.”

He was only partly right.

Urban life, especially in a megalopolis, is fast, mechanical, thoughtless, and incredibly down-to-earth: an abyss of hyper-socialised consumerism. Yet there’s another, more subtle aspect to it, which exists outside of the temporal space dictated by capital — one which the medium of photography can reveal flawlessly.

These photographs are the first in new series which looks at what lies on the periphery, between the realm of our cognition and the ineffable.

In our time, the ability to find the transcendent in the everyday has waned; where before it gave another layer of meaning to our lives and our experience of the places we inhabit.

*Abracadabra is a word used as an incantation, and as a magical formula by the Gnostics.

Saint Paul Cathedral, London
Marylebone, London
Severndroog Castle, London
Deptford High Street, London
Holland Park, London
Embankment, London
Nothing Hill, London
Tate Modern, London
Greenwich, London
Hampstead Heath, London
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Monika K. Adler

Monika K. Adler is photographer and film director known for her challenging and provocative photography and experimental films. Her works have shown in hundreds… More »

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