Exploring Aperture Issue 82, 1979
BY : NOAH PHAM
“Discovery is unrepeatable Being Here All we see creates This presence in a Living stream of energy” -Walter Chappell To flip through the sun-stained pages of a 1979 issue of Aperture is like delicately observing intimate photos that withstood the test of time. Founded in 1952, Aperture has been a staple in contemporary print, one that showcases how we view the world through a shutter lens. Printed on high-gloss paper, issue 82 strictly displays the work of B&W photographers sprinkled with excerpts of poetry, anecdotes, and softly written vignettes. From start to finish, issue 82 unfolds in a progression of natural photography, beginning with Walter Chappell’s Metaflora portfolio. Chappell’s infatuation with horticulture as a young adult brought him to experiment with print negatives of various plants and was able to manipulate photos to such. This sprouted a collection of iridescent photos where the plants project an illuminating effect within darkness. Up next is a collection of divine landscapes; shots of rock formations and stone sculptures captured by Paul Caponigro. The momentous images are accompanied with the poem of Alan Garner, The Island of the Strong Door, enveloping relations from the moon, to the ocean, and the land. From still images to ritualistic dramas, issue 82 includes the provocative work of Siegfried Halus. Halus’ images portray the symbolic identity of the natural state of the human body, with techniques of shooting at night, timed flashlights, and continuous exposures lasting up to 6 minutes. Through his process Halus chooses what to illuminate and what to deliver from darkness, thereby bringing to visibility the presences of the figures and emotional investments. Issue 82 of Aperture encapsulates the work and the beauty of life itself; sprouting with stills of nature and sacred land, to a progression of the human body, and the various and movements the body carries in time.