“It’s the fringes of the world that interest me, not its centre.” - Sibylle Bergemann. C/O Berlin, International Forum for Visual Dialogues, is presenting the exhibition Polaroids by Sibylle Bergemann until September 4, 2011.
The present is fleeting, fragile, intimate and difficult to hold on to. Nowhere are the instant and eternity so close together as in the Polaroid: the instant photo that is so ephemeral precisely because it fades with time.
Sibylle Bergemann was born in Berlin in 1941 and died in Gransee in 2010. She studied business and subsequently worked in the editorial department of the East German periodical Das Magazin. In 1966, she began studying photography under Arno Fischer, whom she married 19 years later.
Beginning in 1967, Bergemann worked as a freelance photographer producing extensive work for serial publications. However, she also explored chosen themes and took photographic notes over extended periods of time.
Some of the key works of her career are her black-and-white and color fashion and portrait photographs, both produced on commission for publications and created for independent projects.
Sibylle Bergemann used the Polaroid instant medium precisely for what it was designed: to capture the moment. The result is a body of dreamlike and sensitive documentary works: talismans against forgetfulness. Each appearing as if enveloped in a veil eluding temporal or spatial classification.
C/O Berlin presents 140 Polaroids by Sibylle Bergemann, making this the first time that such a large number of these unique works have been shown to the public. The broad scope of the exhibition is to offer a distinctive overview of the work of one of the most important female photographers to come out of Germany, paying homage to the artist who passed away in November 2010.
A catalogue published by Hatje Cantz accompanies the exhibition:
Sibylle Bergemann: Polaroids is open until September 4th 2011 at C/O Berlin, Oranienburger Straße 35/36, 10117 Berlin-Mitte. For more info, go to co-berlin.com.