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Late April Readings on Photography

Penelope Umbrico's photographs installed at Aperture's Spring Party on April 17.

Penelope Umbrico’s photographs installed at Aperture’s Spring Party on April 17. Photograph by Max Mikulecky

Editors and staff at Aperture Foundation share what we’ve been reading recently.

“The April issue of Frieze has two compelling articles on contemporary photography by two Aperture magazine regulars: curator Brian Sholis unpacks Lucas Blalock’s beguiling still lifes, and writer Aaron Schuman looks at a cohort of photographers, who, like Blalock, playfully experiment with picture making. Yes, yes, we may be close to reaching a saturation point on the recent discourse about process-based photographs and pictures about pictures, but Sholis and Schuman, both insightful writers eager to engage a broad spectrum of photography, offer unique insights. The issue’s cover, featuring a neat stack of glinting red hot dogs—an image by Blalock—will make readers hungry for the conversation, or send them searching for a different meal.”

–Michael Famighetti, editor of Aperture magazine

“I’m currently reading ‘In the Holocene,’ the catalog released on the occasion of the exhibition of the same name held at MIT List Arts Center from October 19, 2012, to January 6, 2013. The catalog features essays from an intergenerational groups of artists, exploring art as an ‘investigative and experimental form inquiry, addressing or amending what is explained through traditional scientific or mathematical means: entropy, matter, time (cosmic, geological), energy, topology, mimicry, perception, consciousness, etc.’ The reference to ‘Man in the Holocene,’ drew me in first, it refers to the novella written by Max Frisch, which traces the trials of a man prone to categorize thunder types into a taxonomy out of boredom.”

–Sarah Dansberger, assistant archivist

“I read Teju Cole’s New York Times Magazine article ‘A Visual Remix’ — it’s an interesting discussion of our culture’s surplus of digital imagery and the increasingly common artistic practice of collecting, cataloging, and arranging these images. As our processes of creating and viewing photographs change, so does the idea of reappropriation. He also discusses Penelope Umbrico, who headlined last week’s Spring Party, as well as my new favorite Instagram project, ‘Craigslist mirrors.'”

–Taia Kwinter, Aperture magazine Work Scholar

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