Leica cameras have always been a favorite of photographers and photojournalists, including Henri Cartier-Bresson, Ilse Bing, William Klein, and David Douglas Duncan. Across the globe, the legendary German camera and lens manufacturer operates 88 retail stores, 22 of which feature in-store galleries that regularly exhibit work by award-winning photographers. The iconic brand is therefore a fitting choice to help sponsor and curate a special exhibition at the third edition of Berlin Photo Week (BPW), which runs from August 26 to September 3, 2021, at the German capital city’s Arena Berlin and other nearby venues.
Curated by Leica Galleries International art director and general representative Karin Rehn-Kaufmann, the exhibit focuses on the work of three German photographers, all of whom use Leica cameras, from different generations: Herlinde Koelbl, Donata Wenders, and Xiomara Bender.
Since the 1980s, Herlinde Koelbl, now in herself in her 80s, has been famous for her deep dive photographic explorations of social milieus and other themes. She often shoots with a Leica SL mirrorless full-format camera.
Born in 1965, Donata Wenders’s work includes curiously constrasted black-and-white portraits, set photography, and books co-authored with filmmaker husband Wim Wenders. Both Wenders are know to use a variety of Leica cameras, including the company’s first digital rangefinder M8 model.
On the youngest side, thirtysomething Xiomara Bender’s stunning and epic color images of North Korea, elephants in Botswana, and Bedouins and camels in Morocco, among other locations, were shot on a Leica SL2 full format camera, among other models. In addition to scheduled talks with the artists, the exhibit will also feature text and video explanations among the photos.
The special exhibition will also include a section curated from the P.C. Neumann Collection in Switzerland about the world of punk rock and its accompanying aesthetics, personalities, and fashions. Among the photographers and photos: Johnny Rosza, the New York-based celebrity and fashion photographer, who considers his vibrant 1983 portrait of performance artist Leigh Bowery and partner Trojan to be among his favorites. The punk exhibition will also include a walk-in installation with original music by Lutz Fahrenkrog-Petersen, who has produced tracks for Justin Timberlake, Nena, and Peaches, among others
Berlin Photo Week (BPW) is an independent project produced in partnership with IMH Imaging Media House GmbH & Co. KG and Messe Berlin GmbH, which also runs IFA and is the parent company of Dealerscope publisher CT Lab Global Media.