This October, the largest photo festival in Germany will be hosting exhibitions and events in numerous museums, cultural institutions, galleries, project spaces, embassies and photo schools all over Berlin and Potsdam. Since 2004, the European Month of Photography Berlin has taken place once every two years, offering a wide range of historical as well as contemporary photography. For you to not miss out on this year’s highlights, we’ve compiled a hit list of some of the most inspiring openings. You can find more info here about our recommendations and other upcoming events as part of EMOP Berlin.
Toxic masculinity is, especially in Berlin, among the well-known and frequently used terms of the current discourse around gender and patriarchy. But what is masculinity really? How is it experienced and perceived? How is it constructed? The group exhibition ‘Masculinities: Liberation through Photography’ examines the social construct of masculinity from the 1960s onwards. Fifty international artists participate with over 300 works, exploring the actual complexity of the term.
Max Pinckers’ photo series deals with the effects of the modern media age, focusing on the distinction between reality and fiction. Related terms like ‘truth’, ‘half truth’, ‘lie’ and ‘entertainment’ are examined in the multiple-award-winning series, which—apart from the photos—offers a lot of additional content like newspaper articles, archival material and personal interviews. The works tell the stories of six people, who, after receiving brief national-wide media attention in the US press for trying to realize their dreams or passions, have been exposed as frauds. Their stories reflect the media’s incapability of offering space to idiosyncratic versions of reality and build the base for Pinckers’ exploration of terms like ‘credibility’ and ‘illusion’.
This group exhibition featuring three different artists—Yumna Al-Arashi, Hicham Benohoud and Jenna Westra—explores the correlation between the human body and space. By visualizing bodies as objects, the artworks raise questions about human relations, moving between different opposite poles: self-perception and the gaze of others or power and submission. The arrangement of the bodies in the images highlights the thin line between performance and staged photography.
‘Stageless’ is a series of portraits by photographer Sven Marquardt, showing members of the international ensemble, Friedrichstadt-Palast Berlin, right after a performance. Different expressions reflect on the performers’ faces and offer the viewer an insight into the transition between stage character and human. Moreover, his works gained an unexpected relevance due to the outbreak of the pandemic, since they were taken about six months before the stage was forced to cancel all performances until December.
The series ‘Winged’ is a fusion of fashion and experimental photography. Esther Haase’s project, which combines analog 1:1 with professional fashion photography, shows three diverse models in a limited edition of black and white prints. The Berlin project started out as an experiment in 2014, when the fashion photographer first discovered the IMAGO Camera. A dreamy and otherworldly atmosphere characterizes the life-size photographs – grasping a fleeting moment, since there is no post-processing involved. In addition to the artworks, a film about the creation process will be screened during the exhibition.
The two photogravure projects by Fiona Tan, titled ‘Studies for Elsewhere’ (2018) and ‘Shadow Archive’ (2019), examine utopian visions and process them artistically. The former imagines Los Angeles as a utopian landscape, while ‘Shadow Archive’ is inspired by the idea of an archive of world knowledge, featuring six immersive photogravures, that take the viewer on a virtual walk through dusty index-card cabinets, which are rising up against the walls of the circular building she designed for the project.
Loock Galerie will exhibit works by American photographer Gregory Halpern, comprising two groups titled ‘Omaha Sketchbook’ (2005-2018) and ‘ZZYZX’ (2016). The former features a thirty-part-collage with images that were taken over a period of fifteen years. The pictures visualize the fragile reality of ‘hypermasculinity’, which appears to be a ubiquitous characteristic of the city of Omaha. Halpern’s photographs take the viewer on a surreal visual journey to the United States, offering an exceptional perspective by creating a lyrical, multivalent world.