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In the eye – Berlin

August 19th, 2010

Filed under: ART & DESIGN


Berlin’s first photography gallery, C/O Berlin was established only 10 years ago. Tired of waiting for the authorities to open one, a small group decided to create one themselves. They chose an old post office, whose majestic authority – despite its decrepitude inside – magnificently houses its photographic goldmine. The exhibition we went to see celebrates this ten-year anniversary by presenting more than 200 works of the photojournalism agency, MAGNUM Photos: Magnum – Shifting Media – New Role of Photography was a tribute to the founders.

Robert Capa by Gerda Taro

The premature deaths-in-the-field of Robert Capa and David “Chim” Seymour remind us grimly of the work the people in this business are dedicated to. At the current exhibition you will see the roots of photojournalism for yourself, as well as get a glimpse into the photography world of today, covering a range of young photographers hailing from all over – Australia, Holland and Norway and South Africa, just to name a few. The photographers of the exhibition are Christopher Anderson, Jonas Bendiksen, Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Antoine D’Agata, Thomas Dworzak, Alex Majoli, Trent Parke, Paolo Pellegrin, George Roger, David Seymour, Alec Soth, Mikhael Subotzky, Ilkka Uimonen, Peter van Agtmal and Donovan Wylie.

According to the exhibition notes, “Photograph’s use in the media is a phenomenon of extraordinary importance: it has radically transformed how the masses see, and has opened a window to the world. Photography has ushered in a new age of visual mass media – both in a humanist enlightenment sense, and as a powerful instrument of propaganda and manipulation.” The visions by Trent Parke in particular struck me with the desolation that can be experienced by the visitor when travelling through rural and urban Australia – from a visual point of view, saturated, intense colours of landscape are strangely complemented by man-made signage. What’s real? Jonas Bendiksen’s investigation of Russian villagers who make a living from collecting scrap metal from falling rockets and the impact of this weird set up on the environment is reflected in the strangely beautiful book, Satellites.

Today coldwater, George Street, Sydney, 2005 by Trent Parke

Satellites, by Jonas Bendiksen (copyrighted by Magnum Photos)

The Dossier believes that Eindhoven needs a photography gallery. One cannot help but be inspired by the industry and entrepreneurship of Berliners. Eindhoven (inadvertently or intentionally, who knows?) models itself on patterns to be found everywhere in Berlin – we too have the abandoned buildings (see the brilliant Berlin blog Adaptive Reuse) and designer hairstyles. Of course Eindhoven is small fry compared to the intense cold and dark heritage of Berlin, but yeah, the concept of hergebruik (adaptative reuse) is no stranger to the Dutch artists … and my hairdresser’s staff (Faces) frequently pop eastwards to Berlin for hair cut and colour refresher courses. That’s a start.

C/O Berlin
Oranienburger Strasse 35/36
10117 Berlin-Mitte
info@co-berlin.com
www.co-berlin.com

Exhibition – MAGNUM . Shifting Media . New Role of Photography
From Robert Capa to Donovan Wylie
16 July to 19 September 2010

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