Aperture Summer 2015

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

in dieser ausgabe

3 Min.

Tokyo conjures a distinctive, if familiar, image: hypermodern and kaleidoscopic, a mutating urbanscape that is more Blade Runner than picturesque capital. Like any iconic city, Tokyo also exists in our mind’s eye as an idea. But Noi Sawaragi, one of Japan’s most influential art critics, speaking of the capital in these pages, punctures the idea that this ever-changing place can be neatly encapsulated. “Is Tokyo even a city at all?” he challenges, before reflecting on its diverse culture of image making. “There is very likely a connection between this lack of substance in Tokyo as a city and the scarcity of any single overarching theme or style that might define its photographic expression.” That diversity of expression is felt across this issue, Aperture’s second to focus on photography through the lens…

4 Min.
collectors: the sculptors

Rachel Harrison It is said that Antinous accompanied the Roman emperor Hadrian on hunting trips, which might imply they were lovers (as is speculated). Antinous does have nice eyes, even though they are missing. It was these very black holes that startled, then soothed me when I first encountered them on the soft matte paper of the past. For four dollars, I picked up a portfolio catalog of Greek sculpture held in the Louvre, another great find from the bargain bin at the Strand bookstore. After gazing on Antinous’s spaghetti curls, I said, “I look no further. He’s coming home with me.” The photograph of this sculpture is beautiful, looking down as he does into some nonplace. But it’s the supersaturated surface of the paper and inky black background that make it…

3 Min.
on portraits 

In this new column, Geoff Dyer considers how a range of figures and subjects have been photographed. Roland Barthes was born one hundred years ago this year. Why do portraits of the philosopher and thinker on photography tell us so little about him? How disappointing they are, photographs of Roland Barthes—and how silly it is to be disappointed by them. They reveal so few signs that life has made any impression on this middle-aged Parisian with his slicked-back silver hair. And—except for one of him lighting a cigarette, captioned, with gorgeous vanity, “Left-handed,” in Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes—they are oddly devoid of telling gesture. Exquisitely responsive to everything that happened to him, Barthes, who became increasingly present in his writing, seems not so much withdrawn as withheld in photographs. Unless,…

5 Min.

Growing up in Braddock, Pennsylvania, LaToya Ruby Frazier saw firsthand the economic and environmental decline and racism that affected her industrial hometown, subjects she explores through a personal documentary approach. For twelve years, she photographed her mother, grandmother, and herself in a series of deeply evocative images contained in her book The Notion of Family, published by Aperture in 2014. Also a lecturer and professor, Frazier is among the most compelling new voices working within and expanding the tradition of documentary photography today. Gordon Parks, A Choice of Weapons, 1966 Gordon Parks’s memoir taught me the best reason to pick up a camera: “My deepest instincts told me that I would not perish. Poverty and bigotry would still be around, but at last I could fight them on even terms.” It is…

4 Min.

Baritone singer in his collegiate glee club. Developer of the cathode ray tube used for television. Part of the team appointed to separate uranium isotopes for the top-secret Manhattan Project. Consummate cruise-ship traveler. Acquaintance of Anaïs Nin, Gertrude Stein, and Allen Ginsberg. Thief. Photographer. Sculptor. Newspaperman. Waiter. Writer of advertising copy. High-school teacher. Literary avantgardist. Inventor of SciArt (a theoretical union of science and art). Resident, briefly, at a mental institution. Publisher of Henry Miller. Gallerist. Cultural entrepreneur. Author of more than eighty books. Subject of an extensive FBI file. Graphic designer. Pioneer of mail art. Would-be politician. Performance poet. Environmental campaigner. Cantankerous, cranky genius. No, this list is not a neo-Dada composite portrait, or an example of cut-up poetry. It is a brief summary of the episodic life of a…

9 Min.
picture tokyo

Noi Sawaragi First of all, where is Tokyo? Is Tokyo even a city at all? We don’t call it Tokyo city (Tokyo-shi), but Tokyo “metropolis” (Tokyo-to), using a suffix denoting the capital of modern Japan. It is made up of twenty-three special wards to the east, twenty-six cities to the west, and, to the south, two island chains that extend into the Pacific Ocean. These islands, the Izu Islands and the Ogasawara Islands, are closer to Guam, Saipan, and the Northern Mariana Islands than to Tokyo. Nevertheless, they are all considered part of Tokyo, and the cars must be registered accordingly. Even in remote places a thousand miles away, you see license plates for Shinagawa, one of the city’s wards. Tokyo has no geographic center, but it also has no boundaries—…