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Self-made: Zines and Artist Books

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An amazing new exhibition, showcasing the eclectic world of independent publishing, from exquisite handmade artist books to radical low-fi zines opens at the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne tomorrow.

The showcase of more than 170 works from the SLV collection has been intriguingly curated, with a focus on cultural shifts and contemporary art movements like Pop Art, Dada and conceptualism.

10th August, 2017

From State Library of Victoria‘s new exhibition ‘Self-made: Zines and Artist Books’.  Paula Gabriela do Prado’s ‘Altered copy of Paul Gauguin’s Noa Noa in German’, printed in Munich, 1985 and published by R. Piper. Photo – courtesy of State Library of Victoria.

‘Self-made: Zines and Artist Books’, opens August 11th and runs until November 12th. Pictured: Antipodes the friendly fanzine from down-under, L. Harding, editor.  no.1, 1956. Photo – courtesy of State Library of Victoria.

Jessirose Streker’s ‘Portraits I Painted of Inspirational Figures from Around the World’. Photo – courtesy of State Library of Victoria.

Dominic Forde’s ‘Ramps, pools, ponds and pipes’ (1975-1985), Peninsula Surf Shop, Melbourne, printed in Risograph. Photo – courtesy of State Library of Victoria.

Just wow! ‘Sniffin’ Glue’ no 11, 1977. Edited by Mark Perry. Photo – courtesy of State Library of Victoria.

Power to the people! Kione Kochi, ‘Self-Publish to Bypass Gatekeepers and Power Structures’, Chicago, Half Letter Press, 2015. Photo – courtesy of State Library of Victoria.

Garry Trinh’s ‘Onlookers’, Sydney. Photo – courtesy of State Library of Victoria.

Jonathan Tse’s ‘Portrait of an Australian’ 1998. Photo – courtesy of State Library of Victoria.

This exhibition is a must-see. Paula Gabriela do Prado’s ‘Altered Copy of Paul Gauguin’s Noa Noa in German’, printed in Munich, 1985 and published by R. Piper. Photo – courtesy of State Library of Victoria.

The showcase will head interstate in 2018. ‘Experimental Art Foundation’ no.76 , Adelaide, 1977. Edited by Noel Sheridan and Ian De Grunchy. Photo – courtesy of State Library of Victoria.

‘Self-made’ has been developed in partnership with The Sticky Institute.  Gracia and Louise’s ‘A Deck of Salvaged Relatives’. Photo – courtesy of State Library of Victoria.

‘The history of zine-making and self-publishing is inextricably linked to influential counter-cultural movements and social activism,’ tells exhibition curator Monica Syrette. 5. ‘Fast Forward’ no.11, edited by  Bruce Milne and Andrew Maine. Photo – courtesy of State Library of Victoria.

Elle Murrell
Thursday 10th August 2017

When you walk into the State Library of Victoria, its hard to look at anything other than the incredible interior. When you can finally rein your eyes in from ogling that amazing ceiling, however, it’s well worth journeying into the exhibition spaces to check out some of the brilliant curations of rarely seen works.

The SLV boasts the largest and most comprehensive zine collection in the country, and its latest showcase, ‘Self-made: Zines and Artist Books’, is opening tomorrow.

Curated with a focus on cultural shifts, this new exhibition explores movements in contemporary art such as Dada and conceptualism, through the work of leading international creatives including: Swiss German artist, Dieter Roth; Pop Art influenced American artist, Ed Ruscha; pioneering conceptual artist Sol LeWitt, and renowned Australian painter, sculptor and printmaker, Robert Jacks.

Developed in partnership with The Sticky Institute, the show also features contemporary artists like Gracia and Louise who are responsible for handmade artist books, printmaker Jonathan Tse, and mixed-media and surrealist artist David Wadelton, alongside many more.

‘”Self-made” will take visitors on a journey through the colourful and sometimes controversial evolution of self-publishing,’ tells exhibition curator Monica Syrette. ‘The history of zine-making and self-publishing is inextricably linked to influential counter-cultural movements and social activism. What we’re displaying – items like sci-fi zines from the 1940s, punk zines from the 1970s and contemporary feminist zines – are all reflections of the political and cultural movements of the time.’

A testament to thriving creative culture, the artists books, in particular, serve as ground-breaking examples of ways in which the commercial gallery system could be circumvented, making art accessible to all.

If you stop by, you won’t just have to view works behind glass, over 100 rarely seen publications can be enjoyed in a dedicated reading area. So, that’s where you’ll find us until mid-November, when the exhibition gets packed up to travel interstate throughout 2018!

Self-made: Zines and Artist Books
August 11th to November 12th
State Library of Victoria
328 Swanston Street, Melbourne

‘The history of zine-making and self-publishing is inextricably linked to influential counter-cultural movements and social activism.’ – Monica Syrette

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