C|O Berlin is a former imperial post building located in the Oranienburger Straße, Mitte, dating back to 1875. Between 1973-1989 it was partially restored after being seriously damaged during WWII. And after years of vacancy, in 2006 it has become an exhibition centre for photography.
The façade has been restored to its former glory, but the interior has been left untouched. The walls and ceilings reveal the layers of plaster and paint they were wearing for decades. The worn-out interior creates a unique atmosphere in which the exhibited works sometimes seem to serve as merely supplements to their surroundings. There is an ongoing dialogue between the history of the building and the narratives enclosed in the photographs on display.
With every visit to C|O Berlin, this dialogue between the tormented beauty of the decayed interior and the artworks, became increasingly fascinating. As a viewer it is intriguing to shift your focus between the exhibited photos and its surroundings. The truly interesting stories seem to appear in between. All the visits to C|O Berlin resulted in a series of photographs of this in between space, which I finally numbered down to this set of three.
If you want to visit C|O Berlin you need to be quick: unfortunately, the location will close down at the end of March 2011.