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Where in the World is Aperture?

Aperture exhibitions are currently on three continents, from Asia to Europe to the Americas. How does it come together? Aperture’s exhibitions manager Annette Booth takes us inside the many shows currently traveling the globe, from The Chinese Photobook presentations in both London and Beijing, to Martin Parr’s Life’s a Beach in Savannah, Georgia, to the exhibitions currently in the making at Aperture’s gallery space in New York City. This article also appears in Issue 7 of the Aperture Photography App, a new biweekly publication from Aperture: click here to download the free app.

Installation view of The Chinese Photobook at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing

The Chinese Photobook, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, April 4–May 31, 2015

Installation view of The Chinese Photobook at The Photographers’ Gallery, London. Courtesy The Photographers’ Gallery. Photograph by Kate Elliott

 

The Chinese Photobook, The Photographers’ Gallery, London, April 17–July 5, 2015

The London and Beijing shows opened within two weeks of the exhibition closing at Aperture’s gallery. The books and framed portfolios in London are the same materials that were in New York, but the difference between the two shows is the size of the galleries and the layout of the walls. At Rencontres d’Arles, where the exhibition was first on view in 2014, each chapter of the exhibition was in a different room and viewed under flashlight, which definitely influenced your experience. At Aperture, we have an open space that can be partitioned with temporary internal walls, so each chapter had a space of its own but was in view of the next section.

Installation view of The Chinese Photobook at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing

Now in London, the show has been edited; the space is smaller and no internal walls are set up. The result is that books from the early 1900s are just across the wall from contemporary volumes. The work at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing is a different set of material, geared specifically for a Chinese audienceThis version doesn’t include the few books on Tiananmen Square, but it includes many more from the other historical chapters. Those books will now travel throughout China so more people will get the opportunity to see their history through the photobook. We were lucky that Martin Parr had a set of books in Bristol, England, and Ruben Lundgren another set in Beijing—it made the simultaneous exhibitions possible.

Martin Parr, Japan. Miyazaki. The Ocean Dome, 1996. © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos

Martin Parr: Life’s a Beach, Telfair Museum of Art, Savannah, Georgia, May 15–July 30, 2015

Parr’s show started at Aperture’s gallery in New York in 2013, and is now in Savannah, Georgia, a small metropolitan city with a distinctly Southern vibe. The Telfair Museum will be the fourth venue in this exhibition tour, which began in 2013. The works are unframed and pinned to the wall, so the shipping is a breeze, which is one of the hardest parts about traveling exhibitions. And Martin Parr’s photographs are just a lot of fun: the last venue, Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, Florida, paired Life’s a Beach with Monet to Matisse: On the French Coast. You had the very traditional Matisse paintings alongside Parr’s witty, color-saturated photographs—the old and the new. Next year, the show will continue to the Australian Centre for Photography, Paddington.

Richard Renaldi, Vincent and Charles, 2012 © Richard Renaldi

Richard Renaldi: Touching Strangers, at Loyola Marymount University Museum of Art, May 23–August 2, 2015

I love what this show is about and the public really relates to it, that’s why it has done well as a touring exhibition. It’s about people letting go of preconceived stereotypes and relating to each other with an open spirit. I saw that as a kind of Jesuit ideal and so approached Loyola University Museum of Art, Chicago (LUMA), and Laband Art Gallery, Los Angeles, both associated with the Loyola Marymount Universities, which are Jesuit. LUMA Chicago is presenting the exhibition in connection with the one-hundredth anniversary of their School of Social Work. They’ve asked students and alumni from the school to pick a photograph in the exhibition and write up to fifty words in response. Their essays will be presented next to the piece in the gallery.

Paul Strand, Woman and Boy, Tenancingo, Mexico, 1933 © 2014 Paul Strand Archive/Aperture Foundation, Inc

Aperture: Photographs, 1285 Avenue of the Americas Gallery, New York, June 29–September 18, 2015

Aperture: Photographs tells the history of Aperture Foundation through our limited-edition print and fundraising programs from over fifty years. The Founders and Friends portfolio, which includes work by Minor White, Edward Weston, and Dorothea Lange, is followed by Paul Strand’s Mexican Portfolio, the first portfolio that Aperture published in 1967. The viewer will stroll chronologically through a who’s-who list of photography greats: Lisette Model, William Christenberry, Bruce Davidson, and David Wojnarowicz, just to name a few. Then it goes to the present: there’s a commission by John Chiara, for which we asked him to respond to an assignment from The Photographer’s Playbook (Aperture, 2014), and it ends with David Benjamin Sherry’s print from our newly launched, limited-edition subscription series for the magazine. It’s a really diverse display of photography from some of the best Aperture publications.

 

James, Mollison, Hull Trinity House School, Hull, UK © James Mollison

James Mollison: Playground, Aperture Gallery, New York, April 16–June 25, 2015

LaToya Ruby Frazier, The Bottom (Talbot Towers, Allegheny County Housing Projects), 2009 © LaToya Ruby Frazier

LaToya Ruby Frazier: Selected Works, Aperture Gallery, New York City, May 14–July 9, 2015

What the Playground exhibition has that the book doesn’t is scale. Mollison’s work is detailed, and seeing his photographs large in the gallery encourages you to spend time with them. You can look at the same piece numerous times and then on the tenth time see something you didn’t see previously. There is also an immersive audio component of children playing in all these different languages. With schools from Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East represented in the photographs, there’s an international perspective that makes it an ideal touring show. Also on view, starting on May 14, will be a selection of works by LaToya Ruby Frazier, in celebration of the Infinity Award for best publication awarded to The Notion of Family (Aperture, 2014).

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