Aperture 249 - Winter 2022


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“Reference” considers the role images play in the creation of something else. What can a photograph do? Spanning fashion design, architecture, film, and print, the artists featured in this issue borrow and quote from their source material to create transformative works that are all their own.

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Issue Details

This winter, Aperture magazine presents “Reference,” an issue that considers the role images play in the creation of something else.­ Spanning fashion design, architecture, film, and print, “Reference” includes a conversation between renowned British author and curator Ekow Eshun and rising fashion designer Grace Wales Bonner; an interview with South African artist William Kentridge on the images that undergird his sprawling output; critic Mimi Zeiger on the work of Los Angeles–based architectural studio Johnston Marklee; an essay by Jesse Dorris on the potential of handmade zines; and David Campany on the function and purpose of photographs today. Further, works by James Welling, Jojo Gronostay, Deborah Turbeville, Sheida Soleimani, Katrien de Blauwer, and Stephanie Syjuco highlight each artist’s unique use of source material. The Photobook Review for this issue opens with a sweeping interview with Ramón Reverté—the editor in chief and creative director at Editorial RM—and includes reviews of recent photobooks by Vince Aletti, Phyllis Christopher, Moe Suzuki, Nancy Holt, Richard Misrach, and N.V. Parekh.
Format: Paperback / softback
Number of pages: 136
Publication date: 2022-12-06
Measurements: 9.25 x 12 x 0.6 inches
ISBN: 9781597115278

Support has been provided by members of Aperture’s Magazine Council: Jon Stryker and Slobodan Randjelović, Susan and Thomas Dunn, Denis O’Leary and Kate Cordson, 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


Joan Didion, Nan Goldin, Johan van der Keuken, John Waters

Lovia Gyarkye on Qiana Mestrich’s archive about Black women at work

Brian Sholis on Alfredo Jaar and the legacy of Life magazine

Yxta Maya Murray on Gordon Parks’s 1960s-era photographs of Stokely Carmichael

Sam Contis on Annie Ernaux, Ingrid Pollard, and the landscapes of the Chinati Foundation


Editors’ Note: Reference

Grace Wales Bonner: The Researcher
The influential designer on her artistic collaborations
A Conversation with Ekow Eshun

Between Art and Function
Do photographs have a purpose in the world?
David Campany

Under the Influence
Two architects create a novel form of collage
Mimi Zeiger

The Troublemakers
The oppositional energy of zines
Jesse Dorris

William Kentridge: The Excess of the Studio
For the celebrated artist, photographs have always been a reference
A Conversation with Jonathan Cane


Jojo Gronostay: The Repros
An artist’s clever reuse of the fashion image
Mikelle Street

Deborah Turbeville: A Passport to Fashion
From the renowned photographer, a revelatory photo-novella
Thessaly La Force

James Welling: Cento
Through color and process, the ancient world is seen anew
Kate Palmer Albers

Stephanie Syjuco: Latent Images
New stories emerge from institutional archives
Sara Knelman

Sheida Soleimani: Absolute Power
The political theater of the United Nations
Haleh Anvari

Katrien de Blauwer: True Stories
Personal history told through vintage ephemera
Coralie Kraft


The PhotoBook Review
A conversation with the editor Ramón Reverté—and a selection of recent photobooks

Seven questions for Laurie Simmons

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