Above: ©Aras Götken, Untitled, 2014, image courtesy of the artist.


New York—For this year’s Summer Open, Aperture’s annual open-call exhibition, photographers were asked to consider the ways in which our current reality might echo the outlandish narratives of science fiction.

3_OLeary©Monika Sziladi, Untitled, 2014, image courtesy of the artist.


The title Black Mirror is borrowed from the 2011 British television series of the same name, which imagines a dystopian near future—a Twilight Zone for the age of the smartphone.

Photographs have been described as mirrors throughout the medium’s history. The twenty-four projects here—culled from more than five hundred entries, and representing diverse subjects and photographic approaches—reflect aspects particular to our current moment.

musee black mirrorLeft: ©Eva O'Leary, Nursery, 2015, Right: ©Dylan Nelson, Erica, 2014, images courtesy of the artists.


Their concerns run the gamut, from how technology increasingly permeates daily life, such as in series that reference big data, Bitcoin, and WikiLeaks, to projects on the opposite end of the spectrum, about off-the-grid communities that have rejected contemporary life. Other submissions engage the misused landscape, utopian architecture, real estate development, capitalism and magic, cultural dislocation, and the vocabularies of science and science fiction. Some works invoke a more ambiguous feeling of unease.


Arkanum©Arnau Blanch, from the series Everybody Needs Good Neighbors, 2015, image courtesy of the artist.


As today becomes tomorrow and photography increasingly surrounds us, perhaps this medium provides our best gauge of where we are headed.

Participating photographers:

Farah Al Qasimi / Fabrizio Albertini / Emmanuelle Andrianjafy / Tine Bek / Arnau Blanch / Anaïs Boileau / Philippe Braquenier / Antoine Bruy / Felix R. Cid / Benjamin Freedman / Yaeli Gabriely / Alexander Gehring / Aras Gökten / Jeremy Haik / Balarama Heller / Klara Källström and Thobias Fäldt / Vivienne Luo Wang / Jim Mangan / Sarah Meyohas / Dylan Nelson / Brandon Nichols / Eva O’Leary / Martine Stig / Monika Sziladi

About the Aperture Summer Open

In 2014, Aperture Foundation initiated its first open-submission exhibition, the Aperture Summer Open, as a means of extending the walls of its New York gallery space to a wider group of photographers and gauging the character of contemporary photography. Conceived as an annual exhibition with a new guest juror each year, the Aperture Summer Open will continue to serve as a means of engaging the photography community inside Aperture’s New York space, as well as online. The next call for submissions will be announced in 2016.

Exhibition on view: July 16–August 13, 2015 Location: Aperture Gallery, 547 West 27th Street, 4th floor, New York Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.; Thursday until 8:00 p.m.; Closed Sunday Admission: Free


KAY CHERNUSH: leave no victims