Whether you like to be entertained, thought provoked or just get the opportunity to stroke your chin a lot Berlin has an abundance of art spaces – a perfect place it seems for those seeking a little cultural fix.
One of our favourite art places in the city is C/O Berlin. The postal abbreviation C/O meaning “care of” expresses a commitment to being an International Forum for Visual Dialogues – an exhibition space for photography
Whatever the time of year C/O Berlin is sure to have an excellent photography exhibition going on.
As you walk down Oranienburger strasse you will eventually hit the big glorious beast that is the C/O gallery building. A showy ballsy structure that screams look at me, which of course you do. It´s a spectacular grand, ornate and imposing edifice that you feel might be housing a national opera, ballet or some other refined pursuit. But no previously it was the royal post office (Postfuhramt) that dates back to 1881. But then Berlin is used to utilising fine old buildings to house art exhibitions an example being Hamburger Bahnhof which today is the museum for contemporary art but was in fact a railway terminal before.
I suppose it´s no wonder that the C/O Berlin was founded by photographer Stephan Erfurt, designer Marc Naroska and architect Ingo Pott and that they chose to move into the premises.
Even though the building looks huge and obviously has a lot of space (2,000sq meters plus) it does feel very cosy somehow and provides an enjoyable viewing space to take in the exhibitions. The old gym room is very cool and what with the big hallways and the fact that some of the paint was missing on the walls all add a certain something to particularly urban related expositions.
C/O Berlin host photographic exhibitions from big names to up-and-coming artists and also showcases work ranging from kids to competition winners. Well known photographers such as Annie Leibovitz, Peter Lindbergh, Nan Goldin, Martin Parr, René Burri, Arnold Newman and Robert Mapplethorpe have all shown at the gallery. C/O Berlin utilises up to 2,000sq metres of space. The last time we were at C/O there were four exhibitions on so it was good value for the €10 entry fee. The expositions are curated in both English and German.
The C/O building also hosts lectures dealing with issues concerning the areas of photography, design and architecture. The set up for the meetings and moderated discussion feels very intimate with the guest speaker and interviewer in the room surrounded by the captive audience. In the past the likes of Daniel Libeskind, René Burri, Isabelle Huppert, Jeff Wall, Karl Lagerfeld, Juergen Teller and Leonard Freed, have all given an insight into their work, personal experiences and views.
Lectures are open to the public and cost around €15 – €20. Check website for upcoming events
It is not just about exhibitions and lectures at C/O though as they have an admirable number of workshops that go on throughout the year. The workshops for young people are particularly good as they get a chance to learn visual media from photography to film in a professional way and to have fun at the same time. The workshops also have a commitment to cultural diversity. Smaller kids also get a chance to be creative and use their imagination.
The fee for the junior 1 day workshop is €28, 2 day workshops €40. The teens workshop costs €50 euros. (Includes lunch) Reduction possible on request. Contact Frauke Menzinger . firstname.lastname@example.org
We would thoroughly recommend a visit to C/O Berlin. For starters just to see one of the nicest looking old buildings in the city. There is always a good variety of different exhibitions on throughout the year so it is worth checking what´s on and what interests you. The last time we were at C/O we saw a number of exhibitions by Arnold Newman which we really enjoyed.
We hope you check out C/O and enjoy the building and the photography there. We, as always, would love to hear your thoughts if you do make a visit?
Entry prices: €10/€5 concessions
Please note exhibition space is not wheelchair accessible