It’s rare to find a photographic book worthy of serious political and economic commentary, yet Lauren Greenfield’s new work, Generation Wealth is just such a title.
Over the past quarter century Greenfield has travelled the world - from Los Angeles to Moscow, Dubai to China - bearing witness to the global boom-and-bust economy and documenting its complicated consequences. She’s captured everything from a teenage Kim Kardashian, to the latter-day oligarchs, rich kids and wannabe billionaires, all enthralled by “the influence of affluence” as Greenfield puts it.
On Thursday 18 May Greenfield will be in conversation with the Economist’s senior editor Anne McElvoy at London’s Design Museum, discussing the roots, causes and consequences of this incredible, global fascination with wealth.
While McElvoy - also a columnist for the London Evening Standard and a regular guest on Radio 4 - is an expert in contemporary economics and politics, Greenfield is also an astute social commentator; her feature-length film, The Queen of Versailles, about the building of the largest house in America, won Best Documentary at Sundance, 2012.
Brian Eno has said this about her new book, Generation Wealth: "Lauren Greenfield’s photographs range from hilarious to terrifying, sometimes in the same image. The images are unjudgemental - dystopian shock and awe somewhere at the end of Empire - and yet moving: she makes it personal. It could have been me."