Aperture Summer 2019

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.

United States
Aperture Foundation
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1 Min.
aperture us

The Magazine of Photography and Ideas Editor Michael Famighetti Guest Editor Tilda Swinton Managing Editor Brendan Embser Assistant Editor Annika Klein Copy Editors Clare Fentress, Donna Ghelerter Senior Production Manager True Sims Production Managers Nelson Chan, Bryan Krueger Work Scholars Charis Morgan, Valeriya Pavlova, Ellen Pong Art Direction, Design & Typefaces A2/SW/HK, London Publisher Dana Triwush magazine@aperture.org Director of Brand Partnerships Isabelle Friedrich McTwigan 212–946–7118 imctwigan@aperture.org Advertising Elizabeth Morina 917–691–2608 emorina@aperture.org Executive Director, Aperture Foundation Chris Boot Minor White, Editor (1952–1974) Michael E. Hoffman, Publisher and Executive Director (1964–2001) Aperture Foundation Board of Trustees* Cathy Kaplan, Chair; Willard B. Taylor, Esq., Vice Chair; Anne Stark Locher, Secretary; Michael Hoeh, Treasurer; Peter Barbur; Dawoud Bey; Allan M. Chapin; Stuart B. Cooper; Annette Y. Friedland; Elaine Goldman; Elizabeth Ann Kahane; Hemant Kanakia; Nion McEvoy; Sarah Anne McNear; Joel Meyerowitz; Jessica Nagle; Helen Nitkin; Melissa O’Shaughnessy; Sarah Gore Reeves; Lisa Rosenblum; Thomas R. Schiff; D. Severn Taylor; Trustee Emeriti: Antonia Paepcke DuBrul; Barry H. Garfinkel, Esq.; Celso Gonzalez-Falla;…

3 Min.

Birgit Jürgenssen An artist insufficiently exhibited during her lifetime, Birgit Jürgenssen deconstructed patriarchal notions of fixed, feminine identity by offering ruminations on the multiplicity of the self. This long-awaited retrospective, at Denmark’s Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, is the avant-garde Austrian artist’s first exhibition in Scandinavia. From drawings to photographs, the works are “at once very funny and very sincere,” says curator Mathias Ussing Seeberg. “They dream about a kind of unbound, unhindered identity, where you simply are what you are and it does not define or limit you.” Appropriately subtitled Ich bin/I am, the exhibition pays due diligence to an artist who often used self-portraiture to explore the body not simply as an object or form, but as a projection of infinite realities. Birgit Jürgenssen: Ich bin/I am at the Louisiana…

2 Min.

A Surrealist photographer’s hunt for images In 1934, with plum assignments under her belt and a professional photography studio to her name, Dora Maar was a star on the rise. A profile of Maar in L’art vivant magazine that year described the photographer as “a brunette huntress of images,” an artist whose studio functioned like an “operating room.” It was a notable portrayal of independence, singling her out from the creative partnership she maintained with set designer Pierre Kéfer and marking an artistic departure from her mentor Emmanuel Sougez, whose belief that “scissors, pincers, and glue are not photographic tools” conflicted with Maar’s budding Surrealist impulse to physically construct images, occasionally taking scissors to her prints in order to reconstitute them in photomontages. Perhaps this is what led another critic to…

4 Min.

In a short-lived fashion magazine, a wry send-up of British football culture Sleazenation ran from 1993 to 2003 during the boom in London-based style magazines. It was witty, often rambling, and wry. For a few years, beginning in late 2000, the artist Scott King served as the magazine’s creative director, having arrived there from fellow British title i-D. He didn’t care about fashion. Instead, he saw Sleazenation as a vehicle to pursue his art practice. He wanted to use it, he explained recently, in the way “an artist would use a magazine—to just imagine it as blank pages, and you could do anything you wanted with them.” He was buoyed, he added, by “the arrogance of being young.” As a student, King had come across Dan Graham’s Figurative (1965), an artwork consisting…

9 Min.

For more than thirty years, Lyle Ashton Harris has provoked questions about race and nationhood through his photographs, installations, and performances. His subjects range from Billie Holiday to Jeffrey Dahmer, from the writings of postcolonial theorists to meditations on queer life in Ghana, all pursued with a relentless brio. The 1980s-era 35mm Ektachrome snapshots Harris collected in his Aperture book Today I Shall Judge Nothing That Occurs (2017) are essential documents of youthful artistic life in the age of multiculturalism, whereas his latest work, Flash of the Spirit (2018), considers African masquerade. “No matter how much he shows you,” the playwright Anna Deavere Smith writes of Harris, “you will want to see more.” Pier Paolo Pasolini, Arabian Nights, 1974 I first saw Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Arabian Nights in Los Angeles in the…

2 Min.
editors’ note

“For she had a great variety of selves to call upon, far more than we have been able to find room for, since a biography is considered complete if it merely accounts for six or seven selves, whereas a person may well have as many thousand.” Virginia Woolf’s novel Orlando (1928), perhaps the author’s most whimsical, begins as a tale of a young nobleman in the age of Queen Elizabeth I. Orlando, improbably, lives for centuries and along the way mysteriously shifts gender, a radical plot point that is rendered—in an even more radical gesture—as a nonevent. After having Orlando traverse time and geographies, Woolf concludes the narrative in her present day, October 1928, on the eve of the book’s publication. In 1992, director Sally Potter adapted the novel for the screen…