In the late 1970s, the George Eastman Museum asked a group of photographers for their favorite recipes and food-related photographs to go with them, in pursuit of publishing a cookbook. Playing off George Eastman’s famous recipe for lemon meringue pie and former director Beaumont Newhall’s love of food, the cookbook grew from the idea that talent in the darkroom must also translate to the kitchen. Published now, nearly forty years later, The Photographer’s Cookbook is a time capsule of the 1970s, and includes recipes and photographs from Robert Adams, Richard Avedon, Imogen Cunningham, William Eggleston, among others. In this spirit, Aperture commissioned contemporary photographers to submit a recipe and food-related picture. The resulting works reveal a fascinating look at how today’s photographers depict food, home, and ritual, raising questions about consumption, desire, pleasure, and, in the broadest sense, taste itself.

Cristina de Middel (b. 1975, Alicante, Spain) presents fictional scenes through a reality-based lens in her photographs. Disenchanted with photojournalism and the media’s shaping of public opinions, de Middel emphasizes holistic storytelling in her art, which is rooted in systems of beliefs, rituals, and religions. She is best known for “The Afronauts,” a self-published series about the short-lived Zambian space program. The series follows a fictionalized representation of true events, juxtaposing space age themes against a folk art aesthetic with the intent of criticizing the Western media’s stigmatization of Africa. De Middel’s goal is to spark debate about representations of the truth through these staged images. Most recently, de Middel has used photography to explore community militarization in Brazilian favelas, slums in Lagos, and Nigerian spam emails.


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