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C/O Berlin: Open Call – C/O Berlin Talent Award 2021 – Theorist


Since 2006, C/O Berlin Foundation has supported up-and-coming fine-art photographers and photography theorists. The Talent program has helped to introduce more than eighty talented individuals to a wider audience through exhibitions and publications. They include artists as Stefanie Moshammer, Sebastian Stumpf, and Tobias Zielony, and theorists as Florian Ebner, Katja Müller-Helle, and Steffen Siegel.


The C/O Berlin Talent Award is the only prize of its kind in Europe. It recognizes outstanding work in both photographic practice and theory. The prize is given annually for fine-art photography and photography theory and carries an award of totally €10,000 (€7,000 for the category of art and €3,000 for the category of theory). C/O Berlin produces a solo exhibition with the successful artist as well as a publication with Spector Books to accompany it. The theorist is in charge of writing an essay on the selected artwork and of conducting an interview with the artist. Both will be published in the book. The prizewinners give a joint talk on their work on the exhibition and publication, bringing this union of theory and practice full circle. The C/O Berlin Talent Award 2021 is made possible by the Alexander Tutsek-Stiftung.


The C/O Berlin Talent Award 2021 takes “New Documentary Strategies” as its guiding theme. It aims to support and encourage a critical approach to traditional documentary narratives and a more diverse use of different media in museums and galleries. Since its invention, photography has at once been a means of documentation, and a form dependent on the photographer-subject and his or her view of the world, as well as on the context in which the work is shown or published. To what extent does photography still function as a means of documentation? How have images posted on social media changed the trust we place in the medium? What new narrative strategies are being developed to understand and remember the events taking place in the world around us?


Two separate expert juries will select the winners of the C/O Berlin Talent Award: While fine-art photographers have to be nominated for it, photography theorists are free to enter the competition by submitting two previously published pieces of writing. C/O Berlin will – in cooperation with publishing experts in the fields of photography theory and history – select the winner from the submissions made.

Please send your German or English entry engaging with photography’s expanded field together with a brief CV in a single PDF by Febuary 14, 2021 to C/O Berlin at talent@co-berlin.org.

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