Berlin Stories: Day 6

The final day seen the students and staff gain access to C/O Berlin, the most established gallery in Berlin dedicated to Photography. Co-Curator and project manager, Ann-Christin Bertrand, met the students and took them on a guided tour of the currently un-furbished new gallery space. Having moved from the former imperial Postfuhramt in Berlin-Mitte, C/O Berlin relocated into an old American cultural centre building -Amerkia Haus- built just after the second world war. This unique opportunity to catch a glimpse inside the walls of a gallery space prior to is refurbishment is one that the general vistor to Berlin would never get to see.

The attitude and willingness to engage with the students of Ann-Christin Bertrand capped off a truly memorable and productive trip to the ever fascinating German Capital.

Many thanks to all the students and staff involved for making it such a sucessful week.

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Berlin Stories: Day 5

Situated just off the banks of River Spree, Potsdamer Platz is host to a number of fantastic art galleries. The Isabella Bortolozzi Galerie is one such gallery, positioned inside a building which could be easily overlooked as it is also a residential housing block. Currently on show is the mind-boggling video work of Ed Atkins. His two piece video installation is a surreal trip inside the mind of Atkins, a trip that has to be seen to be fully appreciated.

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Just a few minutes walk from the Isabella Bortolozzi is the vast and beautiful, Blain|Southern Galerie  on display was group of video works by Douglas Gordon. Both the work and this incredible gallery space instantly reaffirm what an amazing cultural hub Berlin really is.

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Berlin Stories: Josh Payne

Exploring the change & transformation of a city expressed through abstract formations within the structure of surrounding buildings and materials involved. Consisting of open ended formations, in which the viewer can only imagine where the rest of the picture leads to. This continual development and transformation of a city will be presented in the form of an editable publication, allowing the viewer to make the decision for them self.

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Berlin Stories: Karl Child

With a passion for photography and street art, visiting what is known as the Street Art Capital of Europe with my course was an opportunity I couldn’t miss. The initial preparation and research we carried out before visiting Berlin played a vital part for me as I had never been before and didn’t fully know what to expect. Throughout the research it was still a struggle to really grasp an understanding for the culture, and nail down what it was I wanted to document whist we were there but from the moment we arrived it was clear to me that I had to document everything!

In the same way that graffiti artists have used every part of Berlin from the bins to the bridges to make their mark, I wanted to capture every part of the city to produce a body of work that could be viewed by people like myself, who had never visited Berlin and I wanted them to be able to understand and almost feel as though they were there themselves.

Below is a selection of photographs that I’ve chosen to represent Berlin from my point of view. They capture the architecture and construction of the ever-growing city, and document how the space is used and occupied by the people of Berlin through a series of landscape and portrait images.

There are more images and a separate project at www.karlchild.com which looks at a single street corner and the people that pass by over a short period of time, taken from an observational vantage point.

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Berlin Stories: Simone Trumpet

The Refugees Revolution demonstration of 23.03.2013 with over 5000 participants was the subject matter for my group project with journalists Faye Grima and Terri-Ann Williams.  They interviewed individuals and recorded the event while I used black and white 35mm film to photograph the protest.  As I have a growing interest in portrait photography, these are my chosen portrait images of participants from the event that stood out to me; these photographs shows the diversity of Germans who come together to fight for what they believe in.

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Berlin Stories: Laura Kureczko

Artists from all over the world have been attracted to Berlin, tempted by both the open spaces and low rent prices, causing an influx of alternative culture which Berlin is known for. It can be seen that the street art and the art squats of Berlin are wounded by war and feel in a very temporary state, however this is part of the charm of Berlin.

As Berlin itself continues to develop, its art squats are gradually gentrifying; resulting in many being closed down. Consequently, squatting artists are responding by means of creating art work exploring the history and future of Berlin, adding to its name “the street art capital of Europe”.

My book “How Soon is Now?” aims to document a group of artists who are actively working to remain in the grounds of the world famous art squat “Tacheles” which brought in 300,000 visiting tourists a year, but was closed and sold in 2012.

My work focuses on one artist in particular, who lives and works in the gardens of Tacheles, attempting to buy back land one square millimetre at a time. This book aims to highlight that it is the hope of many, that Berlin’s alternative art culture does not fade.

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Berlin Stories: Claire Cooper

Berlin has developed a huge transport infrastructure over the years and will take you almost anywhere you wish to go. With an unlimited travel ticket around the city for a week Claire Cooper kept a record of various different railways she used during the trip. Its a very complex system for sure but with quite a few trains and trams caught during the time spent there it became a lot easier.

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Berlin Stories: Alex Payne

In the Jewish Museum a multitude of lost citizens and their personal items and letters are displayed in a purpose-built underground building. The exhibition is laid out on a system of three axis – Continuity, Emigration and Holocaust. The items displayed in each section are relevant to whether the Jews emigrated or were taken into concentration camps, the axis of continuity displaying Berlin’s history with the other two axis branching off.

These images are of letters and personal belongings of Jews that have been donated to the Jewish museum, a very personal look into what each person considered important.

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Berlin Stories: Thomas Orrell

Before I even got to berlin I had a real interest in the history.  We all know about the conflict and some of the things which happen, but to actually go and visit these places such as the concentration camps is not something many of us will ever get the opportunity to do. So when I got the chance to see what it would of been like I took it.  I wanted my images to somehow show what the place was like and even some of the things that have been left behind.

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Berlin Stories: Terri-Ann Williams

The Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection in Berlin has a range of antiquities which rivals that of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

This year the museum is holding a special exhibition: “In light of Amarna,100 years discovery of Nefertiti”. As Cairo continue to claim the bust of Nefrititi is rightfully theirs, a spokesperson for the Berlin Museum says that ‘the bust is too fragile to travel’.

In the past tensions have been high between the Museum in Berlin and Cairo. The bust of Nefertiti is one of the main exhibitions at the museum in Berlin, and is one of the most prized pieces in it’s collection.

Over 100 years ago an excavation was funded by Berlin born philanthropist James Simon, this excavation was carried out in Amarnaby German archaeologist, Ludwig Borchardt, in December 1912. It’s believed the bust of Nefertiti was made around 1350BC.

The bust has been displayed to the public for over 100 years and the German Government are defiant that the piece still belongs to them.

“I think Nefertiti is the best ambassador of Egypt. She is accepted here, although she is still unique and different. She must stay in Germany,” said Dr Wildung, the curator of the Egyptian Museum in Berlin.

In my opinion the exhibition is beautiful and the museum itself is a credit the archaeologists who have come from Germany and discovered such wonders. However the Cairo museum also holds a huge range of artifacts and antiques that are in no doubt the best source for Egyptologists and people interested in the history of Egypt.

The bust of Nefertiti is priceless and should be kept well preserved for people all over the world to see. Her rightful place of course is her home land Egypt, but if transporting her there means harming the bust then she should stay in Berlin.

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