Summer 2021

Founded in 1952, Aperture is an essential guide to the world of contemporary photography that combines the finest writing with inspiring photographic portfolios. Each issue examines one theme explored in “Words,” focused on the best writing surrounding contemporary photography, and “Pictures,” featuring immersive portfolios and artist projects.

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United States
Aperture Foundation
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4 Edições

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11 minutos
we were there

Gupta refutes the gesture of erasure, confirming the presence of these men and the culture of cruising that was a part of Delhi. On November 26, 1982, the Guardian, in its Third World Review section, ran a piece with the startling headline “They Dare Not Speak Its Name in Delhi: Sunil Gupta on the Secret Suffering of India’s Homosexual Community.” At the time, being gay in India was still illegal, as decreed by Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, instituted in 1861 during the British rule of India. “One of the best kept secrets in India is the practice of homosexuality, although there is no lack of practitioners from all social classes,” Gupta writes, noting the constant “fear of discovery” and that Indian society “requires the individual to dedicate his/her…

17 minutos
shahidul alam on freedom and resistance

Shahidul Alam is Bangladesh’s best-known photographer and activist—and an energizing presence throughout South Asia. He is the driving force behind initiatives such as the Drik Picture Library; Chobi Mela, Asia’s first international photography festival; and Pathshala South Asian Media Institute, where he has built a powerhouse of talent by fostering and encouraging a uniquely skilled group of younger photographers and teachers. His work has been exhibited internationally, including Kalpana’s Warriors (2015), which was shown in Delhi and pays homage to Kalpana Chakma—an activist murdered in Bangladesh’s Chittagong Hill Tracts—using innovative techniques to recover evidence of her life, struggles, and disappearance. Recognized as both a cultural figure and a longtime dissident champion of the oppressed, Alam was abducted from his home in August 2018, following a live Al Jazeera interview in which…

4 minutos
o. p. sharma

In the varied archive of O. P. (Om Prakash) Sharma, who has been practicing and teaching photography in India since the 1950s, human forms are inserted into labyrinths of geometric patterns, repeated in multiple postures across the photographic frame, and cast into eerie inversions of light and dark. In The Open Door (1968), a man leans against an unseen wall to speak more intimately with a quizzical child, making a motion of explanation with his right hand as his legs lean long across the framing rectangle. Transformed through Sharma’s methodical darkroom work, the conversing figures are enclosed in a maze of repetitive bands, an effect produced by creating a photogram and turning it into a black-and-white negative on high-contrast film. Sharma’s images are painstakingly produced, often with multiple layers of photograms,…

9 minutos
looking out/looking in delhi

We are described into corners, and then we have to describe our way out of corners.—Salman Rushdie, in an interview with W. L. Webb In April 2019, as the general elections in India dominated the media, an international team of astronomers published the first photograph of a black hole, silhouetted against a disc of glowing gas surrounding this cosmic void, the threshold beyond which not even light can escape. The image showed us what we thought could never be seen, almost two centuries after the French inventor Joseph Nicéphore Niépce used a camera obscura to take the world’s first photograph, looking out from his second-story workroom. These acts of imaging have generated a radical, fundamental warping of the space-time of human consciousness and triggered a cultural “event horizon,” by mapping the…

3 minutos

Made in L.A. The fifth iteration of the Hammer Museum’s biennial Made in L.A. exhibition is supplemented by the phrase “a version” because its cocurators, Lauren Mackler and Myriam Ben Salah, are preoccupied with the uncanny power of doubling. A second version of the exhibition is on view simultaneously nearby at the Huntington, where all thirty artists featured in Made in L.A. are showing another version of their work—a twin exhibition that, at turns, duplicates or debates the theses of the first. Mackler and Ben Salah cite “horror” as one of the biennial’s key themes and appropriately include Diane Severin Nguyen’s chromatic, severe photographs of natural and synthetic fauna, wounds, and goo. Nguyen, Mackler says, “was really cognizant of the policing of the invisible, or the morality around germaphobia, and the…

3 minutos
uzma mohsin

On February 13, 2021, Disha Ravi, a twenty-two-year-old environmentalist from Bangalore, was arrested and charged with sedition—an offense that carries a sentence anywhere from a fine to life imprisonment, or both—for simply editing and sharing a document that explained why there have been farmers protesting in India. The document was tweeted by the Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, leading the Indian police to accuse Ravi of conspiring “to wage economic, social, cultural and regional war against India.” Under the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), India’s Hindu-nationalist government, there has been an increase in such incidents: journalists reporting on protests being charged with sedition, civil liberties being eroded, and the government incorporating a religious component into the notion of citizenship. As a result, the Economist Intelligence Unit downgraded India’s global ranking…