When you walk into the State Library of Victoria, its hard to look at anything other than the incredible interior. When (if) you can finally rein your eyes in from ogling that amazing ceiling, it’s well worth journeying into the exhibition spaces to see some 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. There are displays featuring 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 a 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 be viewing works behind glass; over 100 rarely seen publications can be enjoyed in a dedicated reading area. So, that’s where you’ll find me 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