fallen empire photobook trailer

The second edition of London 2012, Fallen Empire first photographic book will be realsed in July 2012 – date TBC.

It will be available directly from the fallen empire website

fallen empire have prepared a trailer of the book with music by  Cheveu (http://www.myspace.com/cheveu).


Fallen Empire, the book

we meet in an italian restaurant on upper street, not because we’re all italians, just because it seems to be the only place open late enough to accommodate for the late arrival of alex and valentina, the couple behind “fallen empire” – each coming from a different part of london.
earlier that day, alex has witnessed a militar-esque parade of religious people in support of the olympics; valentina instead tells stories of the magnitude of daily turnover of the store (or is it just a floor?) of a famous chain where she works, which leaves us in shock and reminds us that london is a place of such extremes and such weirdness as we have never encountered…

fallen empire have “day jobs” to pay the bills, but they are artists, photographers, writers, aspiring psychogeographers, italian expats, emigrants, immigrants, and they have just published their first book. a collection of photographs to recap their story in london so far, the dreams, the clash with the harsh reality, the choice to use a media considered at least anachronistic, film, paper, to perform all steps, photographing, developing, printing, exhibiting, writing, publishing, distributing.

italy is (or perhaps, more precisely, was) a country of “artisans”, or better “craftsmen” (sounds more anglo-germanic). there is/was a pride in the manual ability, often accompanied by the use of a traditional tools, to achieve a result of great quality and value. in an era of digital photography, alex and valentina have chosen to swim against the tide using traditional methods which remind me of that italian tradition of craftsmanship.

as alex arrives, we’ve just finished our dinner and he goes straight for an “amaro”, the closing of italian meals, followed by a beer – an almost lethal combination, until finally valentina arrives and imposes on him half of a pizza.

while they drink and eat after a long hard day at work, we flip the pages back and forth, my wife focusses on the images and asks questions about them while I, OCD driven, have to read the notes of Chapter Two for each photograph, and by jumping back and forth eventually I lose myself and realise that I have been reading the wrong notes, which upsets my OCD. finally I decide to wave OCD for once and just focus on the beautiful images.

despite we’ve lived 7 years in london, this book is for us a trip in unchartered territory, and the experience reminds me of reading Lights out for the territory before moving to London, while living in Germany, and having to imagine all the places described by Iain Sinclair in the book: watching these photograph is a trip in a world that although photographed out there in this metropolis, is an imaginary world, because we are looking at it through alex+valentina’s eyes.

there is so much to discover about each photograph, that we can just scratch the surface, it’s soon time to go, even this italian restaurant must eventually close on this Saturday night and Valentina must go to work at 10am next day.

we take our copies of the book to bring to Italy and Germany as an exotic prey from a safari in this metropolis whose lights burn at night like a vast bonfire.

The book Fallen Empire can be ordered directly from Alex and Valentina at http://fallenempire.co.uk/shop-2

Fallen empire prints can also be ordered, contact them

Fallen empire is also a photography studio: http://fallenempire.co.uk/studio



Darkest London with Iain Sinclair and Sebastian Groes


Victorian London is often portrayed as a city of darkness, oppression, crime and squalor – but was this really the case? Renowned writer and London psychogeographer, Iain Sinclair, considers the capital’s depiction in the literature of Charles Dickens and his contemporaries with Dr Sebastian Groes, author of Making of London.


£6 (Concessions £5, Friends £4) For the Friends’ concessionary rate, please call the Museum of London Box Office on 020 7001 9844.

Dates and times

  •  Wednesday , April  25, 2012, 19 :00 -20 :00 Remind me with Google calendar logo. Use this link to add this event to your Google calendar. Opens in a new window

Imagining Hawksmoor

RA Forum

27 February 2012

At the Geological Society, Piccadilly

Tower of St George in-the-East, Wapping (1714–29) by Nicholas Hawksmoor.

Tower of St George in-the-East, Wapping (1714–29) by Nicholas Hawksmoor. Photo © Royal Academy of ArtsA panel discusses the work of one of Britain’s most original and enduring architects and explores how his architecture – both built and unbuilt – has left its mark on our imaginations. Contributors include Ptolemy Dean and Iain Sinclair.


Online booking is currently unavailable. Please click here for other ways to book 

£12 / £6 reductions (students, jobseekers and people with disabilities)

Link to event

At the Sohemian Society on Roland Camberton and his novel Scamp. 14/11/2011

Iain Sinclair will address the Sohemian Society on Roland Camberton and his novel Scamp.

Venue: The upstair’s room, The Wheatsheaf Pub, Rathbone Place, London W1.

Date and time: 14th November at 7.30pm. Admission £3