Whilst in Berlin this summer, I discovered a really great gallery: C/O Berlin. A charitable arts foundation formed in 2000, the organisation has established a unique cultural space in Amerika Haus in the affluent Charlottenburg quarter. A former post-war education and culture facility, the building nowadays hosts a variety of photographic and visual arts exhibitions each year to critical acclaim. Diverse and thought provoking projects are compiled from the collections of individuals, archives and galleries around the globe, showcasing works by world renowned artists such as Annie Leibovitz and Andy Warhol as well as providing a platform for emerging photographers.
Whilst featuring a variety of subject matters, techniques and artistic styles, similar themes run throughout each exhibit. Colour, shadows and movement flow through works from various eras creating a beautiful aesthetic that draws you in and demands your attention. The gallery setting itself, spacious but understated, serves to highlight each of the works and makes for the perfect space to relax and admire the art. The few exhibitions housed at any given time may not be large, but you can easily find yourself wanting to walk around for a second or even third time, and guided tours are available if you would like a deeper insight into the collections. When I visited, there was a range of exhibits from fashion photography to a multi-media exploration of the link between the opium trade and conflict zones. Each exhibit was totally different, unique and alluring. I wouldn’t even normally count myself as a particular fan of photography, but found myself returning to the gallery to revisit exhibits and even now can still remember individual pieces and the feeling of being totally absorbed in the art around me. That feeling of being captured by an image, of focussing on nothing else other than ascertaining the beauty and meaning of another person’s thoughts.
Photography enthusiasts will also appreciate the bookshop, which has a range of literature on visual arts theory and detailed photo albums, and don’t forget the café with its outdoor terrace for tempting cakes and drinks after your visit. Hot tip: you can also get a reduced price on your ticket to the nearby Museum of Photography if you visit both on the same day. C/O Berlin is the perfect blend of escapism, modernity and inspiration, and definitely one of my favourite finds in the city.