ZINIO logo

Aperture Fall 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.

Read More
United States
Aperture Foundation
4 Issues

in this issue

2 min
object lessons

In the spring of 1981, the exhibition Libros fotográficos de autores latinoamericanos (Photographic books by Latin American authors) opened in Mexico City. Part of a colloquium focused on photography in Latin America that carried the subtitle Hecho en Latino América (Made in Latin America), the show included approximately two hundred books, most placed on tables so the public could examine them—and, if they wanted, buy them. The exhibition had been in the works for years, at least since 1976, when the Mexican magazine Artes visuales published an article on photographic books written by curator and editor Maria Cristina Orive twenty years earlier. In the 1970s, a consensus was emerging about the significance of these publications in Latin America. In photobooks, images become the text: they are a form of visual…

22 min
graciela iturbide dreams & visions

For more than fifty years, Graciela Iturbide, recognized today as the greatest living photographer in Latin America, has envisioned the diversity of life in her native Mexico. Her lyrical, black-and-white images of street scenes in Mexico City, of Seri women in the Sonoran Desert, of political rallies in Juchitán, and of details inside Frida Kahlo’s bathroom are revered throughout the world. At the age of twenty-seven, aspiring to be a filmmaker, she enrolled in a university class with the maestro of modern Mexican photography, Manuel Álvarez Bravo. The experience was formative. “More than being my teacher of photography,” she recalls, “Don Manuel taught me about life.” Earlier this year, the editor and publisher Ramón Reverté visited Iturbide at her home in the Mexico City neighborhood of Coyoacán. One wall of her…

3 min
lake verea

Black square. Not the one Kazimir Malevich painted in the second decade of the past century, but the one British physician Robert Fludd included in his 1617 treatise, Utriusque cosmi maioris scilicet et minoris metaphysica, physica atque technica historia (Metaphysical, physical, and technical history of both the macrocosm and the microcosm). In the book’s fourth chapter, a square, not totally black due to the printing technique, has the inscription “Et sic in infinitum” (And so on until infinity) on each of its four sides. Fludd describes this illustration as showing, “in the form of an utterly black smoke,” the raw material of the universe “without dimension or form, without color or perception, neither still nor in movement.” This black square exceeds the limits of representation. Perhaps like Malevich’s, it presents…

4 min
spotlight mark mcknight

“I think we’re all constantly on the precipice of becoming another thing,” the photographer Mark McKnight says. A logic of transformation—of metaphor—animates his defiantly analog, large-format, black-and-white photographs. A torn bag of asphalt suggests the broken flesh of an animal; a blistered wall rhymes with a man’s mottled back; the play of light across tar reveals a cosmos. Bodies, landscapes, buildings are depicted in a way that makes them nearly interchangeable, equivalent to the eye and also, disquietingly, to our sympathy, so that traces of adhesive on a wall might be scars from a severed limb. The extraordinary energy of McKnight’s images comes from a harnessing of contrary, even contradictory, forces. McKnight, who was born in Los Angeles, in 1984, chooses as his subjects men he knows and frequently is attracted…

4 min
miguel calderón

I remember a few days after the earthquake of September 19, 2017, I went to see Miguel Calderón at a space a friend had lent him. We tried to watch a few fragments of the video he had been working on about the life of Camaleón, its main character, a strange man who works by night as the bouncer at a bar and, by day, as a falconer. But I struggled to concentrate. I had arrived from Spain to Mexico just a few days prior and found myself in a state of shock on seeing the damage Mexico City had suffered. I remember photographing the cracks in the walls of the house Calderón was using as a studio in the neighborhood of Condesa. Calderón was born in 1971, in Mexico City,…

3 min
agenda exhibitions to see

Alinka Echeverría During a 2015 research residency at the Musee Nicephore Niepce—a French museum devoted to Joseph-Nicephore Niepce, who is often credited as the inventor of photography—Mexican British artist Alinka Echeverria employed an intersectional feminist lens to recontextualize the museum’s colonial archives. With a background in social anthropology, she studies historical representations of women in photography, using collage to liberate and reframe these images. Echeverria’s upcoming show at the Musee des beaux-arts de Montreal, Simulacres, revisits her work on Niepce to pose critical conversations between archival images of women and vases from the museum’s collection. “Alinka’s work not only addresses questions of the feminine but also the question of the ‘other’ as objects of colonial study,” says Maria Wills Londono, curator of the exhibition. “She works in collages—tearing images, taking objects,…