Aperture Spring 2017

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
8,71 €(Inkl. MwSt.)
21,81 €(Inkl. MwSt.)
4 Ausgaben

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3 Min.
rediscovered books and writings

We have to learn to read, but looking, for most of us, just happens. So how do we know how to “read” what we see? The history of photography is a matrix of codes and systems devised for drawing out meanings from pictures. It’s hard to think of a discipline without this application: medicine, criminology, advertising, history, art history. Sorting out sincerity from agenda, disinterest from dogma, is part of what keeps images alive. With photography-as-mass-media continuing to accelerate, reading images—as opposed to just looking— is more and more urgent, a critical eye the sharpest counterweapon against seduction. This isn’t a new idea: in his 1931 essay “A Small History of Photography,” Walter Benjamin quotes an anonymous proclamation: “‘The illiteracy of the future … will be ignorance not of reading or writing,…

3 Min.
collectors the travel writers

Suketu Mehta I don’t know the people in this photograph by Betsy Karel, which hangs in the living room of my Manhattan apartment, but I know them. They could be any of the groups of retired men that go for a daily walk: before the sun starts loaded for bear in the morning, or after it has admitted defeat and is sliding down the Bombay sky. The place is Hanging Gardens, green oasis of my boyhood. I can’t listen to what’s being said in the photograph, but I know the dialogue. The Parsi wit in the black cap has just cracked an off-color joke about a politician or film star. They’ve known each other for half a century now, and done what they’ve needed to in life. They can now leave…

4 Min.

“A photograph can be incredibly intimidating for cops,” Tugba Tekerek, a Turkish journalist, told me recently. “They can use it to crush you.” The last twelve months have seen Turkey navigate an accumulation of violent incidents and growing surveillance; with them, the environment for photographers has changed for the worse. In this country, which occasionally tops the New York– based Committee to Protect Journalists’s annual list of the world’s leading jailers of journalists, taking pictures is an increasingly political and dangerous act. Tekerek, arrested twice last year for photographing people in public spaces, was speaking from experience. When we met at a Caffè Nero one quiet morning last September, Istanbul had not fully awoken from the nightmares of 2016. ISIS suicide attacks on Istanbul’s main shopping avenue in March and in its…

5 Min.

Through her celebrated works in photography, video, and writing, Moyra Davey melds literary references—from Mary Wollstonecraft to Jean Genet— with personal histories. Her “mailer” project, made up of letters in the form of photographs, was exhibited at the 2012 Whitney Biennial. Her partner, Jason Simon, is a media and documentary artist. He took on the controversial 2002 shuttering of the Museum of Modern Art’s Film Stills Archive, and presented both sides of the story in a multifaceted exhibition. Among the links between Davey and Simon is an expansive curiosity about photographs as material objects, evidence, and cultural history. Boyd McDonald Boyd McDonald (1925–1993), editor and publisher of the zine Straight to Hell, made the most eloquent sport of spotting social and sexual hypocrisy in films, watching black-and-white broadcast reruns via a rabbit-ear…

3 Min.
american destiny

“In this contentious moment in history, the stories we tell are a social responsibility,” novelist Sandra Cisneros writes in these pages, reflecting on Kathya Maria Landeros’s images of Latino communities in the American West. From agricultural workers to those toiling on the factory floor, from regional cities weathering years of postindustrial decline to refugee populations assimilating into the heartland, the projects in this issue are bound by an urge to explore the social and political landscape of the United States. The stories here take many forms. Some fuse art with urgent social conviction. Chauncey Hare, a former Standard Oil engineer and impassioned activist, crisscrossed the country in the 1970s to create an enduring record of American workers at home, before abandoning photography to become a therapist and advocate against abuse in…

12 Min.
latoya ruby frazier witness

Kellie Jones: Let’s start with your book,The Notion of Family(2014). Did the popularity ofThe Notion of Familysurprise you, especially given the subject matter? Members of your family have been supportive and willing subjects. Sometimes in such exposés we might feel victimhood. How have you crafted your approach differently? LaToya Ruby Frazier: Initially, when I started The Notion of Family, I knew that I needed to make something on behalf of my relationships with my mother and my grandmother, and something that was for me. Growing up in the 1980s in the Rust Belt in Braddock, Pennsylvania—a time when cities are shrinking, all the factories have been outsourced, all your social services have been cut, the schools are closed, the library is barely functioning—I was already dealing with an invisibility complex. And I…