ONE SHOT is a photographic portrait project made in collaboration with the public-at-large. Each image in the collection is made with only one sheet of film, one exposure; in only one moment, one shot.

One Shot Istanbul by Alexander Berg

ONE SHOT began in Times Square, New York City where Alexander Berg was awarded space in both 2003 and 2006 to create an open studio. In ONE SHOT, Berg invites people right off the street to come in for a portrait, for free, shot with a large-format camera. In New York, he created over 850 portraits in under two months that were shown in solo exhibition at DKNY on Madison Avenue as part of a fundraiser for the Whitney Museum. He was then invited to participate in the Dangdai International Arts Festival 2007, Beijing. In residency at the Paris Beijing Photo Gallery within the 798 Arts District, Berg exhibited work from ONE SHOT NEW YORK and created more than 370 portraits for the ONE SHOT BEIJING series.

Berg actively encourages participation of the individuals photographed throughout ONE SHOT. They discuss content, mood, and lighting to best realize their combined vision, while this collaboration gives Berg a way to really “meet” the subject, finding a way to capture their presence in just that one moment, that one frame. It is common practice for photographers to shoot numerous rolls of film, or countless digital exposures, to achieve one image. For Berg and the subject he is working with, knowing that only one sheet of film will be exposed creates a heightened awareness in the studio, intensifies the bond between them, and ultimately brings forth a quality of true presence in the room. ONE SHOT investigates that presence and reveals it remarkably in images that show an intimacy and immediacy that is simultaneously rare, honest, and fresh.

After great consideration, Berg has chosen Istanbul as the third city for his ONE SHOT series, completing a story of “the West” (New York), “the East” (Beijing), and “Where They Meet” (Istanbul). These portraits not only show a collection of remarkable individuals, but together create a portrait of the city itself. With the participation of over 350 people of various backgrounds, ages, and stories, Berg completed ONE SHOT ISTANBUL in January 2009 as part of Contemporary Istanbul’s Special Projects. The exhibition will be running concurrently with the Istanbul Biennale at the Taksim Metro Station Istanbul. In addition to Taksim Subway Station, a smaller selection of the project can be viewed at GAP İstinye Park and GAP Bağdat Street stores.

Alexander Berg website


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