Where Does Aperture Go Next?
Sixty-eight years since the first issue of Aperture, the magazine stands as the flagship and pulse of the organization. Around this influential publication, we have grown a distinguished list of photography books and limited editions, and in-person and online projects nurtured by a family of artists, editors, and supporters at the heart of the photo community.
In 2019, in the early stages of a capital campaign, we moved out of our rented gallery space on West 27th Street, New York, in preparation for the creation of a new Manhattan space, a hub for our collaborations, team, and community. In the midst of this planning, the events of 2020 threw a wrench in our plans. We have slowed our campaign down but have not changed course. We continue to work toward a new space, with your help, and we look forward to announcing more updates soon.
The COVID lockdown changed how we work, as well as what kind of work we find most relevant. Meanwhile, our business model is proving durable and flexible. Working primarily from home, Aperture learned how to stay connected, how to continue (and even expand) visibility for and engagement with photographers’ projects—online. At a time when museums and other cultural institutions have been mostly unable to welcome visitors, this has proved a good moment for the photobook. We are blessed to be supported by our audiences around the world, of which we are deeply appreciative.
Aperture recognizes its responsibility toward diversity, equity, and inclusion in our field. Over the past several years, our publishing programs have demonstrated a strong commitment to amplifying the voices of diverse photographers, and our exhibitions and programs to an inclusive community. But we have much more to do. We seek to improve our recruitment and management practices to ensure a more inclusive Aperture, at every level.
Our work scholar program has been put on hold until we are able to host participants at our premises—and of equal importance, reshape it for the needs of the creative community today. This program has given many of photography’s noted curators, artists, and arts administrators a kick start to their careers, and we are working to evolve the program to empower a more diverse workforce.
The challenges of 2020 will serve to sharpen our operations, as we develop new ways to express our values and beliefs—in photography as a language of art and ideas; artists and editors collaborating to create works of excellence and distinction; the photobook as a primary vehicle for the communication of a photographer’s vision; the empowerment of future generations to tell their stories; and a dynamic and inclusive community.
On January 28, 2021, it was announced that Sarah Meister will become Aperture's next Executive Director, replacing Chris Boot after his ten-year tenure, in May 2021.