NERAM’s new exhibition Self-made: zines and artist books, opening Friday, November 19, showcases the eclectic world of independent publishing, from exquisite handmade artist books to radical low-fi zines.
The exhibition was first displayed at State Library Victoria in Melbourne, and is now on a regional Australian tour.
Self-made was developed in partnership with Sticky Institute – a Melbourne-based volunteer-run organisation that creates, promotes, and distributes zines on behalf of zine-makers.
The exhibition will display rarely-seen material from State Library Victoria’s collection of artist books and its zine collection – the largest and most comprehensive in Australia.
Exhibition curator Monica Syrette said Self-made will take visitors on a journey through the colourful and sometimes controversial evolution of self-publishing.
“The history of zine-making and self-publishing is inextricably linked to influential counter-cultural movements and social activism,” she said.
“What we’re displaying – items like sci-fi zines from the 1940s, punk zines from the seventies, and contemporary feminist zines – are all reflections of the political and cultural movements of the time.
“The artist books in Self-made were also ground-breaking, designed to circumvent the commercial gallery system, and make art easily available to all.”
The exhibition features works by leading international artists 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, alongside works by contemporary artists and zine-makers.
More than 170 works will be on display, including a dedicated reading lounge, revealing the breadth and beauty of artist books and zines.
“We are very excited to present this exhibition at NERAM,” said Rachael Parsons, NERAM Museum Director.
“Zines have played such an important part of alternative culture and creative practice, and the collection from the State Library Victoria is outstanding.
"There is so much to see and do in this exhibition, and we expect it to be a big hit over the holiday season.”
Self-made: zines and artist books will be on display at NERAM from November 19 2018 until February 3 2019.