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Polaroid photography exhibit in Berlin

C/O Art Gallery

If you’ve been following my summer as a hipster Berliner series on Tumblr, you may have seen that I went to a Polaroid exhibit at C/O Berlin a few days ago. The exhibit of Berlin-born photographer Sibylle Bergemann’s 140 Polaroids was better than expected. And I was expecting something pretty good. 

A brief background

Sibylle Bergemann worked in an East German periodical during the 1960s. She eventually began work as freelance photographer, documenting life in East Berlin. After the wall fell, she became a member of various photography institutions in Berlin, including the Ostkreuz Photography Agency. She died in 2010.

C/O Art Gallery

On the exhibit

One of the first things I noticed, almost instantly, from Bergemann’s Polaroids is the intense color saturation she was able to achieve. The first room of the exhibit included a collection of portraits of children. Some of those images were just incredibly stunning. Not just for a Polaroid shot, but for any photograph. I was immediately drawn in.

There was a short video (in German) explaining her photography process, but unfortunately I didn’t understand a word. Her later work, after the fall of the Berlin wall, seemed to include more staged, more modeled photographs. Like any Polaroid exhibit, you still see many photos with light leaks and other hints of the Polaroid process (faded colors…) but that’s what makes the art form so unique.

Sibylle Bergemann, Polaroid exhibit at C/O Berlin

The photo above was one of my favorites in the exhibit, but there were honestly some incredibly vivid Polaroids like ones I’ve never seen. No photos were allowed (please ignore the other image on this post) but if you’re in Berlin, I definitely recommend you check out this exhibit.

Much of the historical information on Sibylle Bergemann was taken from the information flyer and gallery exhibits.

The exhibit runs from 2 July to 4 September, 2011.
Hours: daily, 11am – 8pm
Admission:  €10 adult; €5 reduced; free for under-18s
Location: C/O Berlin, Oranienburger Straße 35/36

  1. Matt McGee says:

    Do they still make polaroids? I like the image you posted as well. There’s a certain beauty in old abandoned stuff.

  2. Wow – I had no idea that was possible with Polaroid! Would love to see them all

    • Adam says:

      I was really impressed with the artist’s ability to get a lot of color saturation. Not sure how she was doing it honestly.

  3. Bob Crunch says:

    Very interesting article. Definitely sounds like a great place to visit.

    • Adam says:

      The gallery was very cool! The building itself was interesting, too, so that was a nice bonus.

  4. Can’t wait to check this out–thanks Adam :)

    • Adam says:

      Hey Melissa, thanks! I need to find some other galleries in Berlin to check out too. Have you been to any good ones worth recommending?!

  5. C/O Berlin says:

    Thanks for the article, this is great Adam :-)
    Hope we can welcome you soon again!

    C/O Berlin

  6. That first pic is an awesome shot

  7. Captain and Clark says:

    Such a great idea!  The gallery looks pretty awesome in and of itself!

  8. Photos from inside Berlin's C/O photography gallery | Travels of Adam - Hipster travel around the world says:

    […] of my favorite photography galleries in Berlin is the C/O gallery. While they’ve hosted interesting photography exhibits in the past, one of my favorite reasons for visiting the photo gallery is the building […]

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