Jacqueline Bates curates "At Home: in the American West" at Aperture

Mary Dambacher, Taos, NM ; Photo by Ahndraya Parlato & Gregory Halpern

Mary Dambacher, Taos, NM; Photo by Ahndraya Parlato & Gregory Halpern

In a year when thousands of migrant children have been sent to live in tent cities, rents for a San Francisco apartment average $3,750, and wildfires have destroyed entire communities, the question of how people define “home” has never felt more urgent. Some feel nostalgic about where they came from, some never left the towns they grew up in, and others couldn’t wait to leave. At Home, organized by MFA Photo/Video alumni and California Sunday Magazine Photography director Jacqueline Bates in conjuction with Aperture Gallery, features a variety of emerging and established photographers who traveled through ten states in the American West and spoke to people about what, and where, home is. At Home will be on view December 6, 2018 – January 4, 2019, with an opening reception on Thursday, December 6 from 6:00-8:30 pm.

Derrick Washington & Kurt Gramm, Los Angeles, CA;  Photo by Erica Deeman

Derrick Washington & Kurt Gramm, Los Angeles, CA; Photo by Erica Deeman

The series includes a formerly homeless woman who finally feels settled in her tiny house in Seattle, a single mother who found her sanctuary living off the grid in the New Mexico desert, a couple who built their dream mansion in the mountains, a DACA recipient who has proudly purchased his first home in Utah, and a Los Angeles native who feels at peace by the ocean.

This exhibition coincides with the publication of The California Sunday Magazine’s December special issue in which all stories will be told through photography, focusing on a single theme: Home.

Jacqueline Bates is Photography Director of The California Sunday Magazine, which won the National Magazine Award for excellence in photography two years in a row, in 2016 and 2017, and Pop-Up Magazine. Previously, she was senior photo editor of W Magazine and worked in the photo departments of ELLE, Interview, and Wired. Bates holds an MFA in photography from the School of Visual Arts, and her work has been exhibited internationally.

All That Paradise Allows by Adam Bell on the Aperture Blog

reviews July 18th, 2017

All That Paradise Allows

In Crimea and the Caribbean, Nicholas Muellner’s new photobook is a tropical gothic of seduction and violence.

By Adam Bell

Nicholas Muellner,  Untitled , from  In Most Tides an Island , 2017 Courtesy the artist

Nicholas Muellner, Untitled, from In Most Tides an Island, 2017
Courtesy the artist

Gracefully marrying image and text, Nicholas Muellner’s photobook In Most Tides an Island(2017) is a poignant meditation on loneliness, love, and isolation in our contemporary world. Structured in twelve chapters, the book tells two parallel but related stories: the real-life struggles of closeted, gay men in provincial Russia and Ukraine, yearning for a connection and love they can’t openly express; and the invented life of a solitary woman on a Caribbean island. Equal parts document, diary, and fictional invention, In Most Tides an Island defies easy categorization. Like Muellner’s previous books—The Amnesia Pavilions (2011) and The Photograph Commands Indifference (2009)—the work deftly combines image and text into a unique form, while, at the same time, poetically questioning the limits of each. The book’s parallel stories ultimately converge to offer a portrait of the heartrending reality of our disconnected, yet networked lives.

Nicholas Muellner,  Untitled , from  In Most Tides an Island , 2017 Courtesy the artist

Nicholas Muellner, Untitled, from In Most Tides an Island, 2017
Courtesy the artist

Adam Bell: You describe yourself as an artist who “operates at the intersection of photography and writing.” How did you come to this relationship and how do you see it working in In Most Tides an Island?

Nicholas Muellner: I came to that intersection in my work by way of a circle: it’s precisely where I started. Long before I knew myself as an artist, I loved following threads of language, and I loved making pictures. They were better places to live than inside myself—richer, safer, more satisfying. Simultaneously, and for as long as I can remember, I have been both thrilled and heartbroken by the inviolable separateness of each human consciousness, no matter the physical or emotional proximity. For me, these facts were inseparable. Words and images became like two lovers lying next to each other in bed who can never know the other’s mind. And, at some point, without a formal declaration, I made it my life’s work—what an absurd claim!—to reconcile those two fraught lovers, by making a romance of the space between them.

That’s a lie. My work never hopes to reconcile language and image. More accurately, it deploys their unbridgeable autonomies as both a means and a metaphor. In the new book, the reticence and stillness of the photographs often amplifies the loneliness and repression of the written narratives. Other times, the emotion of an image confesses what cannot be expressed in words. The language and the photographs collapse into disjunctive double exposures and create a broken double vision, moving in and out of sensory alignment.

For the full review and text, please visit the Aperture Blog here

Alum, Maureen Drennan Exhibiting at Aperture Summer Open, On Freedom

Curated by For Freedoms, the 2017 Aperture Summer Open exhibition, On Freedom, offers a photographic response to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. The photographers and image-makers selected for inclusion each address these issues in their work in varying ways. By bringing them together, we aim to open up a dialogue about the nature and necessity of political action, the language and means by which we critique and produce avenues for sustainable change, and the relationship of photography to these issues.

In the hands of some of the photographers presented in this exhibition, the camera serves as a mirror, reflecting on the stark limitations that make social inequality visible. In others, the camera serves as a tool of liberation—for the body and the mind, and from personal and ecological danger, social constructs, and political limitations. The selection demonstrates how the democratic nature of photography can serve as a vehicle for diverse perspectives to visualize social problems, spark dialogue, and transform assumptions. For many, freedom may be an illusion, but the photographers here are committed to mapping new aspects of this critical terrain—identifying a trail, pointing out dangers along the way—and ever aiming toward the light.

—For Freedoms

Participating photographers: Myriam Abdelaziz / Inbal Abergil / Susan Barnett / Claire Beckett / Lisa K. Blatt / Corinne May Botz / Xavi Bou / Jean-Christian Bourcart / Jenny Brover / Gary Burnley / Jasmine Clark / Debi Cornwall / Marcus DeSieno / Daesha Devón Harris / Maureen Drennan / Jess T. Dugan / Dan Farnum / Mike Fernandez / Ashley Gates / Gigi Gatewood / Kris Graves / Matthew Hamon / Jon Henry / Perri Hofmann / Lili Holzer-Glier / Michael Joseph / Stephen Joyce / Rhea Karam / KevinCharityFair / Lali Khalid / Demetris Koilalous / Marta Kosiorek / Holly Lynton / Francesca Magnani / Marc McAndrews / Mary Beth Meehan / Noritaka Minami / Sam O’Neill / Mike Osborne / Joaquin Palting / Argus Paul Estabrook / Ke Peng / Brittany M. Powell / Hector Rene / Jordan Reznick / Daniel Evan Rodriguez / Phil Roeder / David Rothenberg / Mara Sánchez-Renero / Ben Schonberger / Jay Turner Frey Seawell / Daniel Shea and Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa / Danna Singer / Angie Smith / Steven Trent Smith / Allison Stewart / Jared Thorne / Millee Tibbs / Shane Rocheleau and Brian Ulrich / Sandra Chen Weinstein / Harm Weistra / Emily Yang

2017 Aperture Summer Open: On Freedom / July 14 - August 17, 2017

Aperture Gallery: 547 West 27th Street, 4th Floor

Monday–Thursday & Saturday: 10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Friday: 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
Closed Sunday