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Saturday, June 10, 2023

C/O Berlin: Daido Moriyama . Jochen Lempert . Farah Al Qasimi | 13.05.-07.09.2023

Editors’ Choice

C/O Berlin presents from 13 May to 7 September 2023 with Daido Moriyama . Retrospective, Jochen Lempert . Lingering Sensations and Farah Al Qasiami . Poltergeist, three exhibitions by photographers who dedicate themselves to their immediate surroundings in the most diverse ways – be it the street, nature or private space. The opening will take place on 12 May 2023 at C/O Berlin in the Amerika Haus on Hardenbergstraße.

Image above: From Pretty Woman, Tokyo, 2017 © Daido Moriyama/Daido Moriyama Photo Foundation

Daido Moriyama

Challenging and grumpy, a dog looks at us with its body turned towards us and its head down. You can literally hear the growling and panting. While part of his shaggy coat is brightly lit by the sun’s rays, his muzzle disappears into the shadows. Does this street dog have any idea that this black and white picture of him will become a pictorial icon?

DEEDS NEWS - Daido Moriyama, Stray Dog
Daido Moriyama, Stray Dog, Misawa, 1971From A Hunter, c. 1970-1973 © Daido Moriyama/Daido Moriyama Photo Foundation

Daido Moriyama (*1938, Osaka) has significantly changed the way we see photography over the course of his 60-year career. With his camera, he has not only documented his immediate surroundings and created an artistic social analysis of post-war Japan, but also questioned the photographic medium itself. His unmistakable visual language is just as legendary as his numerous publications, which occupy a central place in his work. That is why the retrospective at C/O Berlin presents, in addition to around 250 works and expansive image installations, dozens of never-before-exhibited photo books and magazines by one of the most original and influential artists and street photographers of our time.

Mass media and advertising, social taboos or simply the theatricality of everyday life – Daido Moriyama’s photographic themes have always captivated viewers. He has pointedly commented on the clash between Japanese tradition and accelerated Westernisation as a result of the American military occupation of Japan after the end of the Second World War. Inspired by US artists such as Andy Warhol and William Klein, he dissected the emerging Japanese consumer society with razor sharpness and also addressed the reproducibility of images, their distribution and consumption. Time and again, Moriyama also placed his own image archive in new contexts and experimented with enlargements, fragmentations and image resolutions. To this day, his artistic pioneering spirit and visual intensity are considered groundbreaking.

Divided into two creative phases, the retrospective first presents his early series for Japanese magazines such as Camera Mainichi and Asahi Camera, his exploration of photographic realism, his experiments in Provoke magazine or his years on the road. These avant-garde works established his unique aesthetic: blurred and grainy black-and-white photographs with unusual image cropping, which under the maxim “are, bure, boke” (grainy, blurred, out of focus) became style-defining for an entire generation. The second part of the exhibition begins after Moriyama’s creative crisis of almost 10 years: since the 1980s, he has been exploring the essence of photography and himself, developing a visual-lyrical reflection on reality, memory and cities that is convincing for its conceptual depth.

Daido Moriyama . Retrospective is based on three years of research, making it one of the most comprehensive exhibitions of the Japanese photographic artist’s work ever assembled. It is organised by the Instituto Moreira Salles in cooperation with the Daido Moriyama Photo Foundation. C/O Berlin is showing it as the second institution worldwide and first station in Europe. Curated by Thyago Nogueira, Instituto Moreira Salles, in collaboration with Sophia Greiff, C/O Berlin Foundation. A monograph accompanying the exhibition will be published by Prestel Verlag.

Organised by:
Instituto Moreira Salles

In collaboration with:
Daido Moriyama Photo Foundation

Made possible by:
C/O Berlin Friends e.V.

Jochen Lempert
Lingering Sensations

Hamburg-based photographer Jochen Lempert follows the traces of nature: Here a firefly has exposed the film itself, there small frogs have hopped around on sensitive photographic paper and left ghostly imprints during the exposure. The imaging possibilities of the medium of photography merge with the characteristics of the animals: the result is a work that can be interpreted as an artistic variation on biology.

DEEDS NEWS - Untitled (Plastic Bag II) - Jochen Lempert - Courtesy ProjecteSD, Barcelona and BQ, Berlin
Untitled (Plastic Bag II), 2017 © Jochen Lempert/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023. Courtesy ProjecteSD, Barcelona and BQ, Berlin

Frogs, doves, swans, insects, plants, people, clouds, the sea – the diversity of nature populates Lempert’s pictures. On closer inspection, the photographs involve the viewer in a game of associations and comparisons. They trace filigree languages of form, playing with nature’s imaging processes (e.g. butterfly wings) and mechanisms of our perception such as physiognomies or anthropocentrisms. The black and white and the graininess of the photographic hand prints allow an abstraction in the experience of our environment. Their pointed use invites us to look more closely, to take our time and marvel at the magic of natural arrangements. The delicate formation of freckles on a shoulder, the perfectly balanced leaf on the back of an ant or the wobbly towers of sea sponges. The special in the seemingly ordinary emerges: when has the everyday ever revealed itself as so beautiful?

But Jochen Lempert’s poetic work presents us with nature in a state that is increasingly in danger: man’s irrevocable interventions in the environment are reducing the chances of survival of our animal and plant world – one million species are currently threatened with extinction. Lempert’s photographic exploration of the interplay between humans and the environment, which has been ongoing since the 1990s, now takes on a new explosiveness. The fascination, curiosity and enthusiasm for nature that speak from each of his images can only remind us of the importance of preserving this unique diversity.

With Lingering Sensations, C/O Berlin presents Jochen Lempert’s first institutional exhibition in Berlin. In three thematically organised chapters, wall works combined with the presentation in showcases explore fundamental parameters of his work – from its beginnings in the 1990s to the present day. The presentation is complemented by a visual biography that tells the story of the development of this exciting and internationally unique body of work with invitation cards, posters and other printed matter designed by the artist.

In collaboration with:
Centre Pompidou, Paris
Huis Marseille, Amsterdam

Farah Al Qasimi

A close-up of a red-pink couch with various patterns. In the centre of the picture a print, as if someone had just sat there or pressed their hand into it. A play between presence and absence at the same time. An uncanny and equally playful aura. Is it a banal everyday scenario or an attempt at contact from beyond? How do you photograph something that is intangible?

DEEDS NEWS - Hand Print, 2021 - Farah Al Qasimi
Hand Print, 2021 © Farah Al Qasimi

The exhibition by multidisciplinary media artist Farah Al Qasimi (*1991, ARE) consists of photographs and a video work. Influenced by the horror films of the 1970s and 80s that take place in a domestic setting, she follows the traces of a poltergeist that wreaks havoc within the four walls of the home. Objects move as if by themselves, rooms are permeated with psychic energy and the safety of one’s own home is called into question by the tyranny of the objects. With humour and ease, the visual storyteller manages the balancing act between both worlds as much as between documentation and fiction, metaphor and banality.

With her camera, the artist criss-crosses the private space
and documents everyday situations and objects in opulent interiors and immaculate bathrooms, always with her unmistakable eye for cultural details and their specific aesthetics. At the same time, her images defy precise geographical location – the photographs themselves were taken in a wide range of places, from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, to Detroit, Michigan. Al Qasimi’s particular signature emerges in the surreal pictorial compositions and the gorgeous interplay of artificial pastels and camouflage-like textiles. She astutely observes our post-internet culture, foregrounding themes of identity, feminism, consumerism and economic growth, as well as the politics and legacy of synthetic materials.

For Poltergeist, she now places earlier works in a new context with recently created images and thus manages to create not only a mysterious atmosphere of the uncanny but also empathy for the peculiar ghost.
for the peculiar ghost. An accompanying video installation traces the origins of objects in an overwhelmingly capitalist urban landscape where no one – not even the ghosts – is exempt from fate as consumer:in.

C/O Berlin präsentiert mit Farah Al Qasimi . Poltergeist die erste institutionelle Einzelausstellung der Künstlerin in Europa, die in den USA schon längst ein Shootingstar ist.

The exhibition is made possible by a donation from Jan Fischer.


C/O Berlin im Amerika Haus
Hardenbergstraße 22–24
10623 Berlin-Charlottenburg



Friday, 12. May 2023, 8.00 pm.

Exhibition days:

Sunday, 13. May – Thursday, 7. September 2023

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