On the occasion of Magnum Photos’ 70th anniversary and Aperture Foundation‘s 65th, the two organizations have joined forces to present “Great Journeys,” the final in the cycle of four square-print sales. Magnum has invited a roster of artists published by Aperture to participate in the project alongside Magnum’s own photographers. Exploring the theme of “Great Journeys,” photographers have shared their most important and inspiring experiences in a selection of over 100 images.
“Great Journeys” is inspired by Magnum co-founder George Rodger. His response to the experience of World War II, and in particular his revulsion to photographing scenes of the Holocaust, led him to re-evaluate his purpose as a photographer. After the war he chose to travel in search of pictures that offered visions of hope for humanity. Seventy years later, many of the photographs Magnum and Aperture present in this selection echo that motivation.
Every photographer represented in the project is a contributor to the great journey of photography itself, mixing classic figures of the medium with dynamic contemporary artists and key image-makers from the worlds of fashion and rock and roll.
The resulting selection of over 100 images creates an unprecedented visual dialogue, highlighting the major visual and thematic threads that have preoccupied the past seven decades of photographic production, and redefining the concept of journey in photographic terms.
‘Great Journeys’ Magnum’s Square Print Sale in Partnership with Aperture runs through 6 p.m. EDT Friday, Nov. 3, 2017. Signed and estate stamped, museum quality, 6×6” prints from over 100 artists will exceptionally be available for $100, for 5 days only, from shop.magnumphotos.com.
Cristina De Middel/Magnum Photos
Hambita. From the series, “The Afronauts.” 2012.
“Great journeys start with great planning and a type of imagination that projects a better you in a better place and a better future. I started a great journey myself shooting the series, ‘The Afronauts.’ I still remember the feeling of vertigo when I first tried to explain what it was that I was doing. …
In 1964, a group of college students, led by Edward Makuka Nkoloso, their science teacher, started training to become the first Africans to step foot on the moon. Thus began the Zambian Space Program.
Whatever happened next is not as relevant as the fact that they tried.
This image belongs to the first shooting I did for this project, inspired by the Zambian Space Program. I was in my hometown, Alicante, Spain, just a few miles away from my parent´s house–a place that could be both the moon and Zambia. I was not sure of what
I was doing but I had a very clear idea in my mind of how I wanted everything to look. That´s because I had travelled many times in my mind to both Africa and the moon and I knew exactly how I wanted them each to be.” (© Cristina De Middel/Magnum Photos)
Mary Ellen Mark courtesy Aperture
Ram Prakash Singh with his elephant Shyama, Great Golden Circus, Ahmedabad, India, 1990. “I’m always looking for something that’s a little on the strange side, some kind of tension or a feeling that is slightly off-putting. This picture of the elephant and his trainer is one of my most well-known pictures from the Indian circus. He had the elephant perform that for me (I think he was showing off). But what makes the portrait work so well is the elephant’s expression. I took several pictures of this act, so much so that the elephant got fed up. He looked at me from the side as if to say, ‘Ugh, Mary Ellen, that’s enough. This is your last frame.’ Afterward, the trainer insisted that I get my picture taken with the elephant’s trunk around me. It was very heavy!” (© Mary Ellen Mark courtesy Aperture)
Steve McCurry/Magnum Photos
Agra Fort Railway Station at dusk, with the Jama Masjid in the distance, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India, 1983. “I photographed this image at Agra Fort Railway Station, in India, where an attendant adjusted a ventilator on the top of a train carriage. The domes and minarets of the Jama Masjid, a mosque completed in 1656 under Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, were visible in the late afternoon light.” (© Steve McCurry/Magnum Photos)
Alex Webb/Magnum Photos
On board a ferry at dusk near the Princess Islands, Istanbul, Turkey, 2001. “Over the course of seven years — from 1998 to 2005 —I wandered the streets of Istanbul, from Cihangir to Ayvansaray, from Üsküdar to Altin ehir, from Kadiköy to the ancient Theodosian walls. Meandering its warren of winding streets and riding its ferries, I found that serendipity guided me — in its roundabout way. More often than not, I had to lose my way in order to find my most successful photographs. In 2001, I remember crossing the Sea of Marmara after a frustrating series of missed ferries and lost opportunities — a typical afternoon for a street photographer. In the fading light, I thought I was done for the day, and was considering ordering a tea to help fend off the brisk sea air. Then something caught my eye: an older Turkish man, lost in thought, framed by the pink-purple glow of dusk. His reverie had a kind of mysterious weight to it — hard-to-define, yet almost palpable. In that moment, I slowly began to understand — at least visually — Orhan Pamuk’s notion of ‘hüzün,’ an untranslatable word that suggests a rich and complicated melancholy that’s unique to Istanbul, the writer’s birthplace and one of the most astonishingly beautiful cities in the world, a place that seems haunted by its past, and, these days, beleaguered by its present.” (© Alex Webb/Magnum Photos)
Matt Black/Magnum Photo
Birds, Tulare, California, 2014. “What I’ve learned about travel is that you never really leave home. You carry it with you in the very act of seeing. Every picture becomes a portrait of the home you left behind.” (© Matt Black/Magnum Photos)
Graciela Iturbe courtesy Aperture
Cemetery, Juchitán, Mexico, 1988. “Midway between the documentary and the poetic, my unusual way of looking through the lens integrates what has been experienced and what has been dreamt, into a complex web of historical, social and cultural references. The fragility of ancestral traditions and their difficult survival, the interaction between nature and culture, the importance of ritual in everyday body language and the symbolic dimension of landscapes and randomly found objects are paramount to my career. My work is characterized by an ongoing dialogue between images, time and symbols, in a poetic display in which dream, ritual, religion, travel and community all blend together.” (© Graciela Iturbe courtesy Aperture)
Matthew Porter courtesy Aperture
Noe Valley, 2012/2017. “When I started this series, I was inspired by the way a car can steal the show. Think of iconic car chases in films — they are often about spectacle, and have little to do with advancing a narrative. Yet the most vivid images are often the ones that we remember.I think of these cars as dead-end technologies, high-performance machines that serve no useful function, and blatantly flaunt their own obsolescence. It seems fitting, then, that they remain suspended, light splashing over their lacquered hoods, reflecting the spirit and attitude of their time.”(© Matthew Porter courtesy Aperture)
Awol Erizku courtesy Aperture
Untitled (Forces of Nature #1), 2014. “This is part of a portrait series I created for Vogue at the tenth annual Afropunk Fest. I think black hair is beautiful because it can be shaped, shaved, cut, whatever. That’s what I was trying to find — people who had that kind of hair and who embraced it and were proud of it. Iâm not going to be answering questions as much as challenging ideas and preconceived notions and just letting the audience interpret what they want to. There’s an aspect of my work that I want to be universal.” (© Awol Erizku courtesy Aperture)
Joel Meyerowitz courtesy Aperture
Scotty’s drive in, Florida, 1967. “Here’s Scotty’s. Sometimes when you’re traveling in the car all day, on the lookout for life on the fly, a great thirst comes over you and that desire for the next event evaporates immediately upon seeing an old-fashioned diner, I mean the real thing, not some dolled-up imitation serving prepackaged crap, but a place where some degree of reverence for the past lets you know that a milkshake from childhood can be found there. And here’s Scotty’s. Mmmmmm” (© Joel Meyerowitz courtesy Aperture)
Susan Meiselas/Magnum Photos
Shortie’s Dream, Barton, Vermont, 1974. “The dream of the road: the place to escape, to wander, to encounter something beyond what you had imagined you’d find. That’s what led Shortie to leave home to strip in the Girl Show. We intersected while traveling through New England. Journeys are physical and emotional disruptions that involve both body and mind. For me, this journey also meant finding a new path. I followed the carnivals with the desire to make images and share the words of women whose working lives forced them to make extremely difficult choices to launch their dreams.”(© Susan Meiselas/Magnum Photos)