In August 2000 I flew from Munich, where I had been living for a year and a half, to Berlin to catch the last leg of the Magnum Degrees exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of the world's most famous and influential photojournalism agency. It was also my first time in Berlin, where I didn't know anybody. How to describe it? How about what I wrote at the time in my (sporadic, since largely lapsed) journal
Magnum exhibition, Berlin. Worth it? Definitely. Great pics. *Wonderful* exhibition space in a decayed, disused sorting office in the old East centre. (Found and photographed a remaining bit of Wall this morning)
Intersting area - gentrification very much in full swing, still Edgy. People not as gemütlich as Munich, women not as beautiful, but feels like it could be a more interesting city. It is, after all, a second division Weltstadt, not an overgrown market town with delusions of grandeur.
Lots of the pictures I find striking as original prints aren't striking in the Magnum Degrees book. Which doesn't wow me, so I won't buy it.
(How does Martin Parr get his colours? I know he uses a ring flash - seen him do it on the telly) How are the fantastically beautiful exhibition colour prints done, in general?
The exhibition space is fascinating - crumbling bureaucracy gothic, superb light. Smells, somehow, like India.
It was a big exhibition - hundreds of pictures covering subjects from all over the world, with the emphasis on the last decade since the fall of the Wall. Lots of good stuff, very little that wasn't interesting. Some pictures I noted that particularly impressed me
(It might seem presumptuous to put my own pictures on a page where I'm writing about these photographic gods - feels something like writing a review of a Neil Young concert, then saying and here's a recording of me playing the kazoo - nevertheless, here are some pictures of artwork on one of the remaining stretches of the Wall)
Magnum's website is here
And if you want to know what it's like to actually spend time in the company of photographic gods, this is interesting reading.