C/O Berlin in partnership with the Gordon Parks Foundation has just opened its latest exhibition amidst all the glamour and excitement of Berlin Art Week. The exhibition ‘Gordon Parks. I am You” presents 150 selected works from the Foundation’s collection to display the diversity and integrity of the late American photographer’s work between 1942 and 1978.
This of course includes images of cultural and historical importance that document another place and time, offering a visual insight into over 3 decades of twentieth century America. Parks’ work featured significant figures of the time – from Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr to Duke Ellington and Muhammad Ali. The exhibition features contact sheets as well as vintage prints, magazines and films of his photographic and cinematic work.
Parks was born in Kansas, USA and taught himself photography after buying a second hand camera in a pawn shop. His works were featured in a range of publications including Condé Nast and Life magazines and he also extended his creative output to music, writing and an equally successful film career.
Parks did not consider his camera just a tool of creative expression – he saw photography as a powerful visual medium to comment on injustices of the time, from poverty, marginalisation, oppression and injustice to racism, inequality, and violence.
As an African American he held a unique position that gave him a certain freedom to capture the realities of black American’s lives at the time. His works remind us that what was once can still be today while at the same time, his images show how far we have come but also how far we still have to go. Gordon Parks died in 2006 at the age of ninety-three.
“Gordon Parks, I Am You. Selected Works” is on display from September 10 to December 4, 2016 at C/O Berlin in the America Haus on Hardenbergstraße just a short walk from the hotel. Ask the concierge for directions. Tickets are €10 and the exhibition is open from 11am to 8pm daily.