In 2018 Barbara Wolff decided herself to present works on the social network Instagram and published black-and-white photographs under her account @barbara_wolff_berlin, which obviously were taken exclusively with her smartphone. Her posts through Berlin and other cities quickly reached a large number of followers on Instagram. In her METROPOLIS series, she focuses on the city of Berlin and its people. The series grew so much that the idea of a publication and a presentation logically followed.
After producing an analogue negative from a digital file, Barbara Wolff develops classic silver gelatin prints herself on her favourite matte photographic paper. A presentation in Paris had already been planned for the end of 2020, but had to be cancelled. We are therefore all the more pleased to be able to present 55 works in Berlin, which combine the digital and analogue worlds in a wonderful way.
From the book’s preface:
“In her almost daily wanderings, preferably on foot, Barbara Wolff takes photographs that have a metaphysical dimension, in which she captures the essence of a moment, regardless how fleeting. Her work goes beyond merely documenting an objective reality. When recording decisive moments Wolff demonstrates an unusual sense of composition that is enhanced by a heightened sensitivity enabling her to reveal different facets of life – or consciousness, one could say – in relation to her subject matter.
Her artistic vocabulary is rooted in humanistic photography, but in my opinion, it could also be ascribed to magical realism, given the subtlety of her work. Barbara Wolff shows us the world as it is, but at the same time almost every image conveys an overarching, sympathetic, respectful, sometimes visionary and often utopian dimension.” — Marc Barbey
Wolff’s photographs are not about the classic city views. They are about a subjective view of Berlin in the now. The pictures tell of residents and their urban environment. Patterns of the city emerge, networks of relationships between people, architecture and (artificial) nature. The multi-layered levels of the photographs take the viewer emotionally on a journey through the city. It is about the transformation of the city, about provocation and chaos. It is about secrets, but also about visions. We visit S-Bahn stations and Berlin waters, graffiti walls and crowded shopping malls. But we also see the famous empty Berlin squares and stand in front of closed doors of techno clubs in the Corona year 2020. The exhibition “METROPOLIS” is an exciting picture narrative. Especially for those interested in photography and Berlin enthusiasts. For those who live in Berlin, as well as those for whom Berlin is a place of longing.
Exhibition funded by Stiftung KUNSTFONDS in the program 20/21 NEUSTART KULTUR.
Barbara Wolff (*1951) grew up in the GDR and studied photography at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchdruck Leipzig. In 1985 she moved to the BRD. To this day, she works freelance for the Munich-based camera manufacturer Linhof. Her freelance photographic works have been shown in Berlin (2017, 2020), Arles (2018), Vendome (2019), Geneva (2019) and are represented in international collections. The photographer lives and works in Berlin.
The much discussed and praised book was published by Lunik Verlag Berlin in November 2020:
With a text by Marc Barbey
German, French, English
136 pages, 21 x 28 cm
Hardcover with linen
Price: 39,90 € + shipping
Order the book (Signed copies!)
The exhibition will be accompanied by a program of events, offering photography enthusiasts opportunities for exchange:
Friday, Feb 26, 2021, 7 pm
Live piano concert by Count Stephan von Bothmer to the METROPOLIS pictures of Barbara Wolff from the machine hall of the “Alte Pumpe”. LIVE event on YouTube. Donations to the musician are welcome (Bank transfer, IBAN: DE72100500000240366310, BIC: BELADEBEXXX, Berliner Sparkasse or PayPal: ).
Thursday, Mar 11, 2021, 7:30 pm
We will hold a Salon Photographique via Zoom. Join us: Barbara Wolff, Hans-Michael Koetzle and Marc Barbey.
Hans-Michael Koetzle is one of the most respected German publicists and curators. The conversation will be held in German.
Fridays, April 16 + May 14 + June 18, 2021, each 5 pm
Public tours / online tours
Guided tours with Barbara Wolff & Marc Barbey on Friday April 16, May 14 and June 18 at 5 pm. As part of the extensive digital program, we are pleased to present three upcoming online tours of the exhibition. Barbara Wolff and Marc Barbey will highlight in each of them a specific topic and interact with you. Interactions are very welcome.
The first guided tour will take place on Friday April 16, 2021 at 5 pm (CET) via ZOOM.
This time we will go into more details on the topics Humans and Tracks that are crucial for the publication and the exhibition and will also show you many pictures from the book.
2nd guided tour: May 14, 2021 at 5 pm (CET) with the topics Mystery and Nature. Link via Instagram.
3rd guided tour: June 18, 2021 at 5 pm (CET). This finissage tour explicitly shows the pictures that did not make it into the book or the exhibition. Max. 8 visitors in the Collection Regard and via Zoom. Registration:
Collection Regard is a photographic collection focused on German photography, and specifically photography from Berlin. Since 2005 Marc Barbey has been expanding on his collection of German black-and-white photography, which extends from the beginning of photography into the 1990s. He currently also administers the estate of photographer Hein Gorny (1904–1967). With its work, Collection Regard deliberately assumes a position between museum and gallery. Collection Regard endeavors to present largely unknown, significant works of photography which deserve the attention of the public. A number of these works or editions can be purchased at Collection Regard. Presented exhibitions are subsequently offered to addition institutions, in order to make these positions better known to the broader art market.
Feb 19 — June 18, 2021
Opening Reception: Thursday, Feb 18, 6:30 pm,
with Barbara Wolff & Marc Barbey, as a LIVE event on YouTube.
Framework program: please see above
Steinstraße 12, 10119 Berlin
[Mitte | Mitte]
Opening hours: Visits by appointment & free online guided tours via video chat upon advance registration via .
Photography exhibitions/events in…
PiB’s current print issue
PiB Guide Nº50
Discover great photography exhibitions/events in Berlin in PiB’s bi-monthly print issue, the PiB Guide. The PiB Guide Nº50 SEP/OCT 2023 has been published as a booklet, A6 format · 28 pages · English & German · worldwide shipping.
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