{Germany} Olympus Photography Playground

May 12, 2014

Germany

Yesterday was Mothers Day in Germany, and for my special treat I had chosen for us to go visit the Olympus OM-D: Photography Playground.

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Situated in the former Opernwerkstätten Berlin, the Photography Playground is a group exhibition with interactive art installations on the theme of ‘Space and Art’. When we first saw the queue of people waiting outside, we almost turned back, but we persevered and an hour later we were inside.

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On an area of around 7,000 square metres over three floors, visitors are invited to explore, interact with and photograph 12 different installations by inspiring international artists. The artworks were specifically designed for this exhibition and all challenge some kind of visual dimension or perspective, from patterns and lighting, to optical illusions and mirror images. Some of the installation’s features are invisible to the naked eye and only reveal themselves when see through a camera, e.g. by letting off your flash. Visitors can either bring their own camera, or rent one of  the Olympus OM-D cameras free of charge. Each artwork also comes with an information panel that tells you about the piece, the artist, and what camera settings to use or try out.

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Moving Together by Irish street artist Maser.

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Hanging off the Berlin Façade by Argentinian artist Leandro Erlich. The pictures above and below give you a hint as to how this optical illusion is created.

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Putting himself in the picture, in the “self-contained image creation system” Correlators by the Berlin artist group Transforma.

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The Assembly by AlexandLiane look a bit amusing at first, then turn slightly creepy when you let off your flash in the dark. If you wish, you can also don one of the wigs on hand and join the assembly.

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Sadly we didn’t get to fully experience this amazing looking sculpture (whose name and artist I failed to note down), as the queue was just to long and the youngest member of our group was a bit fed up at this point, but at least we had the chance to admire it from a distance.

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Irish street artist Maser again, this time with ‘Infinity Island’.

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#MuseumBaby’s favourite art installation was Interactive Sculpture by the team Flora&Faunavisions. It was inspired by a television test card. It’s not exclusively for children, but the adults had a hard time getting a turn.

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The final installation we saw was the Rauminstallation Zinnowitzer Strasse by local artist Clemens Behr, which “references the architectural features of the Opernwerkstätten” and “deconstructs the materials of the surrounding walls, floors and industrial machinery”. It was also very popular with professional photographers who had brought models along with them.

We didn’t see all the artworks on show, as for many of them only a few people were allowed in or on them at a time to ensure they got the full experience, which meant there were often fairly long queues that would have been unrealistic to wait in with a toddler. But we thoroughly enjoyed the ones that we did see and interact with, and despite all the waiting it was still an amazing experience. Admission to the exhibition is free, and it is showing at Zinnowitzer Strasse 9 in Berlin-Mitte until 25th May, daily from 11am to 7pm. We hear that it’s less crowded during the week, and there is also a pop up cafe if you need to refuel.

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