Saturday, February 5, 2011

Mapplethorpe, "Shoot!", more Buchstaben, Plans

This morning I went to C/O Berlin to see the Mapplethorpe exhibit. Mapplethorpe is intense stuff. For those of you who know the TV show the L Word, you might remember an extended debate in the show about art, sexuality, voyeurism, etc. Mapplethorpe's work was featured on the show. I know, unfortunately, very little about photography, but the images he captured are indeed some of the most beautifully, if sometimes shockingly, framed photos I've ever seen.

What I found even more interesting was the other exhibit the museum had up, called "Shoot!" The exhibit was about fairground booths that would take a picture of you shooting if you hit the bulls-eye of a target. Pay to try, then get your photo as a prize. The exhibit showed some of these pictures, then others by photographers who explored the idea of "shooting" yourself, almost literally with a gun, and a camera. It was really cool.

The fairgrounds shots are funny, because there are usually various family and friends standing around watching, and the picture sort of oddly captures an instant of interest and surprise. The shooter is the photographer, shooting his/herself. The other pictures were awesome. A couple of the photographers (names forgotten already; forgot to bring in my notebook) actually shot a gun through the lens of the camera, which somehow cause the film to capture the image of the shooter, but with a weird black hole in the middle and shatter marks around it. The result is an image that has literally been "shot" in two ways.

The museum also had a booth set up where you could try the game yourself, but the two euro was a no-go for me.

In the afternoon, I went back to the Letter-Museum to talk to one of the co-directors, Barbara Dechant. It wasn't really a formal interview, but she had some interesting thoughts to share about her experiences with graphic design and starting the museum. I liked talking to her; she told me she has always loved letters and collected them, and that opening the museum was like an extension of her hobby. Cool stuff.

I bought Berlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred Döblin today, so that I can attempt to pretend that I will read it. Tomorrow I'm going to Prenzlauer Berg for Bruch and Mauerpark, and hopefully have some time to read, either Döblin or more from Brecht's journals. I also bought tickets for Die Kaukasische Kreidekreis today. Yay!

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