'Crossings' — perspectives on transition and transformation in photography

“Crossings” brings together a selection of over 100 images by international artists to explore perspectives on transition and transformation in photography.

Magnum Photos and Aperture have a long-standing shared history, spanning many collaborations on publications and events through the decades. For the second time, Magnum Photos has invited a roster of artists published by Aperture to participate in the project, alongside Magnum’s own photographers, to visually explore a common theme through both classic and contemporary artistic practices.

The project creates an unprecedented visual dialogue, spanning depictions of physical crossings from one side to another — a road, a river, a border, an ocean — and the personal crossings that manifest in growth, revolt, mutation and self-realization, the voyages of the mind that have the power to spark change and transformation.

Shared themes emerge across the images, from an examination of contemporary shifts in our understanding of selfhood and identity to more macroscopic topics such as migration. In this way, “Crossings” asks both literal and metaphorical questions about the human ability to move, transform and build connections.

The resulting selection of works is at the crossroads of documentary and conceptual practices. Celebrating the singular authorship of each artist, the curation encapsulates the diversity of practices found within photography. Spanning decades of artistic production, “Crossings” is a testament to the major visual and thematic threads that, together, create our visual culture.

Magnum Photos was founded in Paris in 1947 as an artists’ co-operative by four pioneering photographers, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, David “Chim” Seymour and George Rodger. The legendary photo agency continues to shape photographic practice and maintains its original values of uncompromising excellence, truth, respect and independence, representing an idiosyncratic mix of journalist, artist and storyteller. Magnum photographers share a vision to chronicle world events, people, places and culture with a powerful narrative that defies convention, shatters the status quo, redefines history and transforms lives.

Aperture is the world’s leading not-for-profit photography publisher. Founded in 1952 by photographers and writers including Minor White, Dorothea Lange, Ansel Adams and Beaumont Newhall to serve as “common ground for the advancement of photography,” Aperture magazine — continuously published for 66 years — and the foundation’s program of artists’ and other books, and exhibition and education programs, have shaped our understanding and appreciation of the art and language of photography ever since. Aperture identifies and promotes the key voices defining new directions — the first to publish books by Diane Arbus, Sally Mann and Nan Goldin, among many others — while advocating photographers’ contributions to culture and society.

The “Crossings” exhibition at the Aperture Gallery and Magnum’s Square Print Sale in Partnership with Aperture runs from 9 a.m. Oct. 29 until midnight ET Friday, Nov. 2. Signed and estate stamped, museum quality, 6×6-inch prints from over 100 artists will be available for $100 during this time from Magnum Photos Shop. Aperture’s participation in this Square Print Sale serves as a fundraiser for the institution’s nonprofit work, launched to coincide with its Oct. 30 “Family” New York City gala benefit.

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