In October 2012, Aperture presented Penelope Umbrico’s Moving Mountains (1850-2012) as part Aperture Remix—an artist commission and exhibition. For the project, a select group of contemporary photographers were invited to choose an Aperture publication and to pay it artistic homage. The works that each artist created for Aperture Remix—incorporating new images made in response or interventions with the original publication itself—comprise a way of mapping the enduring influence of Aperture’s publication history as it relates to contemporary practice. Umbrico worked with the Aperture Masters of Photography series, focusing on the mountain, a classic and long-standing subject of photographers as symbolic of the idea of mastery. Using her iPhone and a series of apps and filters, she created new photographs of the mountains that appear throughout the series, drawing on images from Edward Weston, Wynn Bullock, Henry Cartier-Bresson, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, and others. For the exhibition, Umbrico exhibited a grid of over eighty new images, side-by-side with vintage prints of each of the images that had been photographed in reproduction, from the pages of the Masters series. In doing so, the expansive and elastic nature of contemporary photography was neatly illustrated – from the original, stable object of the Masters, to the to the ever mutating, fluctuating digital iterations possible today. A limited-edition book created for the exhibition, drawing on the format and design of the Master Series, included over seventy-five images out of the hundreds created as part of her process; subsequently, Umbrico has created an ebook containing over one hundred images, downloadable for free —in many ways the optimum manifestation of the project.
Download Moving Mountains (1850-2012) for free on iTunes