Aperture Summer 2020

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
9,43 €(Inkl. MwSt.)
23,58 €(Inkl. MwSt.)
4 Ausgaben

in dieser ausgabe

3 Min
agenda exhibitions to see

Marion Palfi Although Marion Palfi’s photographs elicit comparison to works by her peers, such as Berenice Abbott, a friend of Palfi’s in the Photo League in New York, or Dorothea Lange, another photographer employed by the Farm Security Administration, Palfi’s commitment to documenting injustice set her apart. “She would implant herself in communities, almost like an anthropologist,” says Audrey Sands, who curated the exhibition Freedom Must Be Lived: Marion Palfi’s America, 1940–1978 at the Phoenix Art Museum. Palfi’s career as a self-described “social research photographer” meant that her work often went unpublished and unexhibited. In Phoenix, her most pertinent images will be on display, including close studies of race relations in Georgia and relocation projects targeting Native Americans in the Southwest. The photographs, taken with the watchful eye of an outsider,…

2 Min
for leonard freed, new york’s police officers were proletarian heroes.

Given the current national debate about police brutality and institutionalized racism, spurred by countless viral videos showing white police officers assaulting unarmed Black people, it is a bit of a shock to discover that Leonard Freed’s classic photobook Police Work (1980), an in-depth study of New York cops in the 1970s, reads today as a counterweight to anti-police rhetoric. In this gritty but elegant volume, Freed, a longtime Magnum photojournalist from working-class Brooklyn, shows the police with compassion, not as racist adversaries but as simply another group of laborers, though with a demonstrably harder, less predictable, and more soul-scorching occupation than most. Trying to understand this thankless job, Freed rode along in patrol cars for seven years, during a decade of rampant crime in the nearly bankrupt city. As the Knapp…

3 Min
as a model and a photographer, ming smith launched her career making images of beauty.

“For me, my style was romantic,” says Ming Smith, on her days as a model in 1970s New York. “My eyes were romantic. A photographer told me that it was in my eyes. I didn’t know. I was young. He was right.” Smith was shy, spry, Ohio-bred. As a young girl, she liked jumping rope in her yard till the bats swept in and tried to nest in her hair. During her teen years, she would sneak a few doors down to steal peeks at the parties her parents wouldn’t let her attend, to watch the swaying silhouettes of the dancers in the windows. From behind the camera, she began to make images imbued with a careful interiority, and even her landscapes would appear to carry the breath and motion of…

4 Min
in films about gender, advertising, and immigration, the visible hand of women’s labor

I once went to a collector’s apartment where it was all hands. I once went to a private museum where it was all houses. Both world-class art collections, each assembled around these highly specific themes. In the realm of such narrow, idiosyncratic focus, I began to think differently about the careers of artists I thought I knew well. Certainly Louise Bourgeois does have a vast body of work about homes and domesticity, and to see her approaches to the theme beside Vito Acconci’s put a new light on the home as site of both childhood fantasy and adult sexuality. But, back to hands. Artworks with women’s hands pictured in them—hands that are filmed close-up, touching photographs and manipulating objects—were, at first, only a passing observation. I noticed this when considering work…

2 Min

Few works have impacted the world of photography like Nan Goldin’s The Ballad of Sexual Dependency. Beginning as a slideshow set to music and presented at parties, clubs, and bars in New York and later in Europe and Asia, the project originally took a hybrid form, somewhere between moving and still photography. “The diary I let people read” is how she has described her candid portrayals of friends, lovers, and relationships in a bracing opera of joy and despair. Realized in lusty color amplified by the emotional range of her imagery, Goldin’s pictures retain an uncommon, hypnotic power. Goldin originally thought she might become a filmmaker. She devoured the films of auteurs and mavericks—Vivienne Dick, Federico Fellini, Jack Smith, and John Waters. Photographers, from Claude Cahun to Larry Clark, opened new worlds…

31 Min
the ballad of nan goldin

Nan Goldin moved from Boston in 1978 to Manhattan’s Lower East Side. She was twenty-five years old. New Wave was starting to happen, and so was she. Nan went everywhere with her camera. She was part of the Times Square Show in 1980, on her way, it would turn out, to the Whitney Biennial in 1985 and beyond. She was creating The Ballad of Sexual Dependency (1983–2008) as a slideshow during this time, when the underground, of which she was a star, suddenly riveted the attention of a larger culture. This new youth vanguard was urban and music-driven, as into film as it was into books. Stylistically, The Ballad of Sexual Dependency claimed descent from Weimar (the echo of a song title from The Threepenny Opera in Nan’s title is deliberate),…