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open plan

In 2009, I started a series of interrogations directed at the world of work, especially work in the service sector in the so-called professional and managerial categories (lawyers, corporate and financial consultants, etc). I wanted to understand exploitation and alienation in relation to these workers, in many ways perceived as priviledged. I did portraits of "investment bankers", but it was London and as the 2008 financial crisis hit, those were not easy to digest... I remembered then the space where I had worked as a lawyer, how vile and stifling it was, and how I hated to go to that windowless place everyday and spend there 10 hours in a row. Using a personal contact, I sneaked in to the offices of a huge, world famous investment bank in Canary Wharf, where I photographed the work spaces of the high earners, big bonuses "investment bankers". It turned out that they worked sitting in an immense open plan floor, in rows of well aligned "cubicles", and spent their minimum of 12 hours a day, including most weekends, facing a screen within the flimsy partition walls, that didn't protect from surveillance and control of productivity. The title of the series is, of course, a big irony.

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