"Seductive, provocative, commonplace, eccentric and above all powerful". A very eloquent opening statement that guided us troughout the exhibition on fashion photography currently being held at the Berlin institution for photography C/O Berlin, which Bang Bang Berlin had the opportunity to attend today. "Timeless Beauty - 100 Years of Photography from Man ray to Mario Testino" is the result of a first insight into the recently opened impressive photography archives of the Condé Nast Group, influential publishing house which brought to us leading fashion magazines such as Vogue, Vanity fair and Glamour.
Notwithstanding the undeniable paramount quality of the mentioned collection, it is a fact that there is also a renewed interest in fashion photography nowadays. As a genre that blurs the lines between commerce and art, the fast pace of the fashion industry and its constant demand for novelty placed fashion photography from the late 20th century onwards as one of the interesting places to search for aesthetic experimentation. Hyped up as things may presently be, fashion photography has been seen nonetheless throughout its short history always as a privileged medium to capture the traces of our contemporary condition and our innermost desires and dreams. The current exhibition puts accordingly the necessary emphasis on the sociological impact of its practice.
The collection brought to Berlin covers the foundations of this genre with classic compositions of pioneers such as Edward Steichen and George Hoyningen-Huene to the more recent works of Mario Testino, Tim Walker or Eric Traoré. As a personal note, unfortunately there weren't to be seen any of the works from Mert Allas and Marcus Piggot, ingenious photography duo that are making waves in the fashion circles due to their recent fantastic editorials for magazines such as the acclaimed British LOVE. Since the latest is published by the Condé Nast Group as well, their inclusion would have definitely brought a wider understanding of the current state of things in the fashion photography scene.
Nevertheless, a beautiful selection of beginning of the century and contemporary classics that will not only appeal to the fashion enthusiast but to all those passionate about photography and its history. So, be sure not to miss it.
Exhibition dates: 18.08 - 28.10.2012
Oranienburgerstr. 35/36 10117 Berlin-Mitte
Daily from 11am - 8pm
Admission: €10/€5 (reduced)
C/O Berlin Website