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Tyler Mitchell – Wish This Was Real – C/O Berlin | 01.06-05.09.2024

Editors’ Choice

C/O shows from 1 June the exhibition Wish this was real by Tyler Mitchell. Against the backdrop of history, American photographer Tyler Mitchell (*1995, USA) traces dreams of paradise. Since his rise in the fashion world, he has been working on a visual narrative about beauty, fashion, utopia and landscape that expands visions of the lives of Black people. With Wish This Was Real, C/O Berlin is showing Tyler Mitchell’s first solo exhibition in Germany. It offers new perspectives on his long-standing themes of self-determination and the particular radiance of the everyday and shows how portraits can simultaneously be rooted in the past and evoke an imagined future.

Image above: Curtain Call, 2018 © Tyler Mitchell. Courtesy of the artist

The exhibition spans almost ten years of Mitchell’s dynamic artistic work in the fields of photography and video and illustrates the influence of the “New Black Vanguard” – the image production of black photographers, as described by the American writer Antwaun Sargent, which is located between art and fashion. Organised into three thematic areas according to different motifs, the exhibition shows his latest works printed on fabric and mirrors and presents Mitchell’s diverse explorations of portraiture, nature and social memory. “I hope that my photographs come across as authentic,” says Mitchell.

DEEDS NEWS Tyler Mitchell Wish This Was Real CO Berlin 2
Wish This Was Real, 2016 © Tyler Mitchell, Courtesy of the artist

In Lives/Liberties, Mitchell’s early influences and immersion in skateboard culture are reflected in images that pursue the dream of leisure, community and self-realisation in the midst of social unrest. These include the video Wish This Was Real (2015), a stirring and atmospheric reflection on innocence and political turmoil in contemporary America. In Postcolonial/Pastoral, reveries of paradise are underscored by the complexities of history and social identity. Mitchell stages elaborate scenes in Georgia and rural New York, inviting reflection through vivid landscapes and symbolic references. In intimate family portraits and still lifes that depict the home as a sanctuary, Family/Fraternity celebrates the resilience and agency of Black communities.

At the centre of the exhibition is the installation Altars/Acres, featuring photographs and mixed-media sculptures by artists such as Garrett Bradley, Rashid Johnson, Baldwin Lee, Gordon Parks, Grace Wales Bonner and Carrie Mae Weems, whose works correspond strongly with Mitchell’s own creative background. With this unique dialogue between generations, Mitchell’s photography is embedded in a broad field of experimentation, intellectual heritage and cultural expression.

Tyler Mitchell . Wish This Was Real is curated by Brendan Embser, Senior Editor at Aperture, and Sophia Greiff, Curator and Co-Programme Director of the C/O Berlin Foundation, in collaboration with Tyler Mitchell Studios.


Exhibition period:
Saturday, 1. June until Thursday, 5. September 2024

Opening hours:
Daily, 11 am to 8 pm


C/O Berlin
Hardenbergstraße 22–24
10623 Berlin


Regular: 12 €
Reduced: 6 €

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