Oben – From Berlin’s Rooftops

Oben

For a couple of years now photographer Diane Vincent has been climbing up to the rooftops of Berlin and taking photos up there. She finds a lot of peace and tranquility on these urban and empty deserts, capturing a view of Berlin that is for many of us invisible otherwise. I have been fascinated with rooftops too, but more because I think it’s completely wasted urban living space. I think all of the rooftops would be amazing living space to enjoy the sun and to drown out the noise of the streets while still being outdoors. But sadly most rooftops are forbidden to enter because the roofs are not built in a way that they are safe to walk on. Shame really.

With her collection of rooftop photos piling up Diane has now compiled a selection of them into a cute self-published book titled “Oben” (up) which you can order now on her website. After the jump you can see some of our favorite rooftop photos.

Frank by Frank
on May 21st, 2015
in Books, Photos

Keim – A Photobook by Matt Lambert

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photos: Matt Lambert

We’ve had talented photographer and filmmaker Matt Lambert on our radar since his short film project with Dazed&Confused and his involvement in the amazing participative theater production MEAT. Since then we’ve seen his sexually provocative work also in several amazing editorials and films including a recent music video for iconic German singer Marius Müller Westernhagen.

Matt is giving us a pretty good reflection of the current youth culture with its rebellious and overly sexualized forms of expression. In his photos and videos we see young people exploring themselves and their sexuality with a strong impulse to be as progressive and aggressive as possible, bending the rules and the social norms of what is appropriate. They glorify non-conformance, sexualize violence, and experiment with different sexual orientations and polygamy. From a superficial point of view it looks a bit like they have an inflated sense of self-importance. But my interpretation is, that they are simply confused, scared and lost in the strange times we live in. It’s a world that’s caught in a limbo between luxury, gluttony and safety on the one side and complete and utter chaos on the other. They are looking into a future that is uncertain in many ways because our past generations are leaving them a world that’s a complete mess.

Matt’s first photo book titled Keim is being released by Pogo Books today and features a good chunk of his mostly homoerotic work. Tonight (May 13) the release is being celebrated with an exhibition opening at Iconoclast and an afterparty at Ballhaus Mitte. Enjoy some of Matt Lambert’s photographs after the jump.

Frank by Frank
on May 13th, 2015
in Art, Books, Photos

Why you should learn German when you live in Berlin – Days of Deutsch

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I think it’s pretty obvious that you have to speak German when you want to live in Germany. But Berlin is not Germany. Berlin is a state of mind. And in this state of mind of total freedom people often think that they don’t need to speak German when they start living and working here. I know quite some people who are annoyed by the English speaking expats, but for me as a German I find it actually pretty great that I can practice my English with a lot of native speakers without even leaving my neighborhood. But for the new people who arrive in Berlin and who try learning German it’s really difficult to practice because everybody automatically switches to English as soon they hear a foreign accent.

I know for a fact that without a certain knowledge of German (and an understanding of the culture and mentality of the Germans) some doors (business and private ones) will never open for the new Berliners who plan to make a life here. That sounds a bit dramatic, but I just wish that new Berliners have less fear of the German language and maybe a bit more enthusiasm for learning it.

While I just typed the word “enthusiasm” I had to imagine the shocked faces of several of my non-German speaking friends. And probably quite a lot of my non-German speaking readers think that I have gone insane right now. But honestly: German is a beautiful and precise language with a lot of creative freedom and abundance of neologism that makes the language alive. I don’t want to bother you much more with my love for the German. That’s why I would like to let this photography project convince you to at least try to spark your enthusiasm. The amazing photo tumblr Days of Deutsch that I discovered a couple of days ago, helps you to learn German with photographs of Berlin. More about this beautiful project after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on April 26th, 2015
in Photos, Stories

The entire Berlin Wall as seen from the West in 1984

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photos: Philipp J. Bösel & Burkhard Maus

In 1984 the photographers Philipp J. Bösel and Burkhard Maus had a funny idea: Let’s go to West Berlin and photograph the entire 18 km of the Berlin Wall as seen from the West! The result was a stunning series of 1144 black and white photos that would make up a huge panorama if you would line them up next to each other. This is probably the most detailed documentation of the exterior of the Berlin Wall that was taken before it got torn down in 1989. In these photos you see a lot of funny graffitis my favorite one being the one above that reads “What the fuck are you looking at, never seen a damn wall before?” in dry German words.

25 years later this photo series was turned into a beautiful photobook published by Verlag Kettler. It’s an amazing documentation of one of the most significant periods of Berlin’s history and now one of the must-have Berlin books for every Berlin lover. There are only 1144 copies available of this limited edition, so you better hurry up to get yours. Some previews after the jump.

Frank by Frank
on April 23rd, 2015
in Books, Photos

Neuanfang Berlin – A New Beginning

Neuanfang Berlin by Andrea Padoan

Berlin has always been a place for new beginnings. Many people come here to start a new life. Berlin becomes their personal clean slate.

“Neuanfang” is a photo project that wants to show the everyday life of four “Wahlberliner” (Berliners by choice). With my camera I follow them to their favorite places, in particular the places where they can “breathe” their new beginning in the German capital. It’s all about “change” – change as a new way of life that is completely different from the lives in their respective hometowns.

Trying to catch their thoughts is an inspiring process for me because this topic touches me deeply. I am a Wahlberliner, too. I share their feelings and even if I think that we are all very different, this magical feeling of a new beginning simply connects us.

by Guest Author
on April 20th, 2015
in People, Photos, Stories

Ramificazioni – An Art Project Portraying the Italian Expats of Berlin

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All photos: Maria Silvano

The new arriving people see Berlin as a promise, as a forest of stories sometimes open and sometimes inpenetrable. The migration dynamics of a Europe without borders are not fundamentally very different from those of the previous century: there are the same dreams of luck and prosperity, the same desire for a better life and a longing for what has been left behind that -it is known- is exacerbated with time.

“Ramificazioni” (Ramifications) is Maria Silvano’s point of view on her new city, Berlin. She took portraits and gathered the voices of fellow Italian migrants who moved to the German capital during the last years. They spoke about their deep and faraway roots, their desires and wishes to see their hopes bloom. Looking into the eyes of this hopeful young men and women involved in amazing projects you hope that they will find a fertile ground in Berlin.

The work consists of 13 photos and is accompanied by a soundtrack in which the voices of the photographed subjects overlap each other: problems of pronunciation and inflections language can be composed to create a forest of voices. Enjoy the pictures after the jump and find out the dates of the exhibition.

Claudio by Claudio
on April 14th, 2015
in Art, Photos

A Vision of Berlin, Paris and Moscow

Alexandr Kulikov

photo: Alexandr Kulikov

Paris, Berlin and Moscow are three cities that are substantially different, but they do have some things in common. They are places that are in motion and constant evolution. Paris-Berlin-Moscow is an international project that offers a contemporary view of the artistic creation in those three cities. It brings together multi-disciplinary work by artists from these cities showing the parallels, similarities and differences of these places. After the jump we want to present you a part of the Berlin-themed works from a couple of young photographers who captured their visions of Berlin.

Their work will be shown in the Berlin leg of the exhibition of the same name that accompanies the project and will take place in all three cities. It will open tonight and will run from April 13 – 19, 2015 in the SMAC gallery in Mitte.

Frank by Frank
on April 13th, 2015
in Art

Scars of Berlin

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Berlin is a city with a complicated history that left it with many scars. It was destroyed in the war, for a long time divided by a wall and since than struggling with a weak economy that sets it back compared to the rest of Germany. The scars are all over the city – some of them physical and you can touch them like cracks in the concrete, others are invisible, but you can feel them in the hearts and minds of the inhabitants of the city.

Jozef Ibarr is trying to draw a parallel between the scars of the city and the scars of the people who live in it with his new photo series. He has been fascinated with scars and the stories behind them for a while now, but since he came to Berlin his interest in the topic has grown even more. For his series he collects real physical scars in the streets and their human counterparts in the flesh of the people he meets here. He is still looking for more scars here, so if you have one that you would like to share a story about, get in touch with him. After a jump a few scars from his series.

Frank by Frank
on April 8th, 2015
in Art, People, Photos

RED HOT 100 in Berlin

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photos: Thomas Knights

If you haven’t heard of it, red is the new black. Well, in the world of men admiration at least it seems. For the longest time redheads have had a tough time but now it seems they have become objects of desire for many people and I think that’s great. We live in a time where more and more people seem to appreciate and enjoy the diversity of human kind. I hope this development continues and than we can finally put things like discrimination against people who are different into the history books. Everyone is different in the end.

The British photographer Thomas Knights belongs to one of the many admirers and supporters of red heads and he is hugely successful with it. His portrait series RED HOT has been celebrated in many exhibitions and is widely covered in the media. Berlin-based publisher Bruno Gmünder has now turned the series into a book titled Red Hot 100 that has sold out its first couple of editions as quick as bananas in East Germany. To promote the book they created a huge exhibition with even more than 100 sexy redheads that is traveling around the world and has now reached Berlin. Tomorrow it will open at a gallery space inside the first floor of the Bikini Berlin. They will obviously sell signed copies of the awesome book and you will be able to meet a couple of the hot guys from the book. Enjoy some excerpts from the book after the jump.

Frank by Frank
on April 3rd, 2015
in Books, People, Photos

Naked Berliners – The Daily Portrait Project

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One of the best experiences of coming to Berlin is the opportunity to meet new people. Berlin has so many wonderful people living her or passing through. And for a lot of people who visit or live here this is what makes the city special to them. The openness, the diversity, the beauty of the difference.

For Czech artist Martin Gabriel Pavel it must have felt exactly like that. And he thought to himself: What better way to meet new people in Berlin than taking pictures of them naked. Yes, in any other city you would probably not have a lot of success, but here everything is possible. Daily Portrait Berlin is a kind of chain reaction started by Martin and now living a life of its own. He started the process by taking a picture of Elle in her apartment. Naked. She than took his camera and made a photo of M who in turn took a photo of Jonathan and so on. The next one in line can be a friend or a stranger. He or she doesn’t have to be naked. It could be you. See the first results of the series of 365 photos after the jump and follow the project on here.

Frank by Frank
on March 16th, 2015
in Art, People, Photos