Aperture 248 - Fall 2022

70th Anniversary Issue

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Aperture celebrates seventy years with an issue that explores the magazine’s past while charting its future. Reflecting on the founding editors’ original mission and drawing on Aperture’s global community of photographers, writers, and thinkers, this issue features original commissions by seven artists and essays by seven of the most incisive writers working today—each engaging with their chosen decade from the magazine’s history.

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Issue Details

Anniversary issue features seven original commissions by leading photographers and artists, and seven essays about Aperture’s legacy by award-winning writers and critics

This fall, Aperture celebrates seventy years in print with an issue that explores the magazine’s past while charting its future. Reflecting on the founding editors’ original mission and drawing on Aperture’s global community of photographers, writers, and thinkers, this issue features seven original artist commissions as well as seven essays by some of the most incisive writers working today––each engaging with the magazine’s archive in distinct ways.

 Among the original artist commissions, Iñaki Bonillas selects iconic images and texts from the Aperture’s archive from the 1950s to produce open-ended narrative collages. Dayanita Singh reflects on the 1960s and the family album as a serious photographic form. Yto Barrada enacts sculptural interventions to issues and spreads from the 1970s, using remnants of the late artist Bettina Grossman’s color paper cutouts. Mark Steinmetz draws inspiration from the magazine’s Summer 1987 issue, “Mothers & Daughters,” to compose a photo essay of his wife, the photographer Irina Rozovsky, and their daughter Amelia. Considering the matrix of censorship, art, and religion in the 1990s, John Edmonds creates a tableau about family, faith, and grief. Hannah Whitaker explores the turn of the century, and the ways in which our anxieties about technology create speculative worlds. And Hank Willis Thomas draws on Aperture’s issues from the 2010s to create a series of collages that reference traditional quilt patterning, revivifying history and remixing the present.

Looking back upon Aperture’s legacy, Darryl Pinckney reconsiders the photographer and editor Minor White, whose vision shaped the magazine for nearly two decades, beginning in the 1950s. Olivia Laing writes about the 1960s and the tensions between reportage and artistry in the work of Dorothea Lange, W. Eugene Smith, and others. Geoff Dyer revisits to the 1970s, which he considers a decade of new ideas and deeper reflection on the medium, looking into the works of William Eggleston and Ralph Eugene Meatyard. Brian Wallis looks back at the politics, art, identity, and the “culture wars” of the 1980s, while Susan Stryker reflects on Aperture’s archive from the 1990s and its foregrounding of identity beyond the gender binary, evoking Catherine Opie, Elaine Reichek, and Aperture’s pathbreaking “Male/Female” issue. Lynne Tillman illustrates how photographers searched for the tangible in an increasingly digital world in the 2000s, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Salamishah Tillet shows how the photo album became a source of connection and narrative amid the information overabundance of the 2010s.
Format: Paperback / softback
Number of pages: 144
Publication date: 2022-09-06
Measurements: 9.25 x 12 x 0.6 inches
ISBN: 9781597115261

Support has been provided by members of Aperture’s Magazine Council: The Kanakia Foundation, Jon Stryker and Slobodan Randjelović, Susan and Thomas Dunn, and Michael W. Sonnenfeldt, MUUS Collection. Additional support is provided in part by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Aperture Foundation’s programs are made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

New York City Department of Cultural Affairs

New York Council on the Arts

Table Of Contents


Maurice Broomfield, Speaking with Light, Martine Syms, Sibylle Bergemann

Casey Quackenbush on Mikki Ferrill’s 1970s-era visions of Black joy

Evan Moffitt on Wolfgang Tillmans’s career retrospective

Day Jobs
Randy Kennedy on Christopher Anderson and photography as manual labor

Ryan Ho Kilpatrick on Billy H.C. Kwok’s work on Hong Kong and Taiwan

Studio Visit
Kwanele Sosibo on Mikhael Subotzky’s newest film and life in Johannesburg

Elle Pérez on Peter Hujar, E. Jane, and the judges of Legendary


Editors’ Note:
Aperture’s 70th Anniversary

Seven Writers on Seven Decades

1950s: The Invention of Minor White
Finding spiritual liberation though photography
Darryl Pinckney

1960s: Did You See Those Pictures?
The tensions between reportage and artistry
Olivia Laing

1970s: The Idea of Photography
A decade of new thought and reflection on the medium
Geoff Dyer

1980s: Edges of Illusion
Artists meet the culture wars
Brian Wallis

1990s: The Shape of Trans to Come
How do we represent identity beyond the binary?
Susan Stryker

2000s: Real Life and Living Memory
Searching for the tangible in a digital world
Lynne Tillman

2010s: Everyday People
A photo-album for the future
Salamishah Tillet


Seven Photographers on Seven Decades

1950s: Iñaki Bonillas
Iconic images and texts become narrative collages

1960s: Dayanita Singh
The Photography of Nony Singh
Could a family album have been presented as serious photography?

1970s: Yto Barrada
Bettina’s Color-aid Papers
With sculptural interventions, encounters with the printed page

1980s: Mark Steinmetz
Irina & Amelia
The enduring influence of an issue about mothers and daughters

1990s: John Edmonds
Father’s Jewels
A tableau about family, grief, and religion

2000s: Hannah Whitaker
Millennium Pictures
How anxiety about technology creates speculative worlds

2010s: Hank Willis Thomas
In textile-inspired works, a vibrant tribute to artists and mentors


The PhotoBook Review
A conversation with the designer Irma Boom—and a selection of recent photobooks

Seven questions for Hua Hsu

Other Issues