Exhibition at the NY Art Book Fair
October 24 - 26, 2008
Admission is free
QUEER ZINES is the first historical survey of serial, independent publications with a queer sensibility. The exhibition describes the trajectory of queer zine publishing from the early 70s to today, linking two zines of mega-importance: Straight to Hell, Boyd McDonald's ground-breaking, filthy, ofttimes political, sex zine of the seventies, and BUTT Magazine, the Dutch super-zine of today: never quite as filthy as STH, it mixes STH's straight-to-the-quick headlines and typewriter font with today's celebrity culture. Between these two we find the explosion of punk zines that are at the heart of this exhibition, perhaps best epitomized by the mythic JDs. Crucial zine clusters from Toronto (JDs, BIMBOX), Los Angeles (Fertile La Toyah Jackson), and New York (My Comrade) crossed traditional boundaries of race, class, and gender; cheaply produced and largely distributed by mail, their formal dynamism, mixed media, and radical politics found a striking analogue in contemporaneous queer theory.
Philip Aarons, President of Printed Matter, Inc., and co-curator of QUEER ZINES, says, "Queer zines, influenced by the pioneering Straight to Hell of the 70's, and self-published and distributed independently in Toronto, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and other cities in the 80's, presented a new type of individualistic, sexually explicit, politically aggressive and aesthetically innovative publication while simultaneously creating a vibrant interconnected community of queer punk culture. The queer zine of the 80's, with its sex positive, diversity embracing and 'unslick' look led a new generation of queer artists to embrace the highly personal zine as a crucial, non commercial element of artists practice today."
QUEER ZINES also presents the international zine explosion of the last few years. Contemporary queer zines from Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, London, Melbourne, Munich, New York, Paris, San Francisco, and Warsaw will be on hand to sell their wares. With diverse links to their predecessors, Butt Magazine, Dik Fagazine, Girls Like Us, Handbook, Kink, Kaiserin, They Shoot Homos Don't They? and many others demonstrate a complex interaction with the worlds of fashion, porn, and art, as well as the internet and artists books. The zine format allows instant and constant reinvention, and that says something about queer culture, collecting, and the world of publishing and distribution today. QUEER ZINES is drawn from the collections of Philip Aarons, AA Bronson and the Fales Library at NYU, together with contributions from individual publishers.
QUEER ZINES, the catalogue, collects the variegated practices of zine makers past and present, from Agony to Young Men at Play. In a riotous assemblage of more than 200 pages, we find comprehensive bibliographies and sinful synopses for more than 100 zines, excerpted illustrations and writings by zine makers, reprints of important articles in and about queer zines, a directory of important zine archives, and a list of zine outlets around the world. It also includes a 1980 interview with Boyd McDonald by Vince Aletti, Bimbox's pop-up genitalia (alas, not popping up here), Adam Block's early writings on zines from the Advocate, and excerpted interviews with GB Jones, Vaginal Davis, and Bruce LaBruce. QUEER ZINES is available for purchase at the NY Art Book Fair, from Printed Matter's storefront location, or on the internet at www.printedmatter.org.
THE NY ART BOOK FAIR is Printed Matter's annual fair of contemporary art books, art catalogs, artists' books, art periodicals, and 'zines offered for sale by over 140 international publishers, booksellers, and antiquarian dealers. Admission is free during regular fair hours. The fair is open Friday/Saturday, October 24 & 25, 2008, 11am - 7pm and Sunday, October 26, 2008, 11am - 5pm.
For additional information, please contact AA Bronson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (212) 925-0325.
Printed Matter, Inc. is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 1976 by artists and art workers with the mission to foster the appreciation, dissemination, and understanding of artists' books and other artists' publications.
Printed Matter has received support, in part, through grants from the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Milton & Sally Avery Arts Foundation, The Cowles Charitable Trust, The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, Fifth Floor Foundation, Furthermore: a program of the J.M. Kaplan Fund, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, The Kettering Family Foundation, LEF Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and private foundations and individuals worldwide.