Copy Machine Manifestos: Artists Who Make Zines
November 17, 2023–March 31, 2024
Morris A. and Meyer Schapiro Wing, 4th Floor
Copy Machine Manifestos: Artists Who Make Zines is the first exhibition dedicated to the rich history of five decades of artists’ zines produced in North America. Since the 1970s, zines—short for “fanzines,” magazines, or self-published booklets of texts and images, usually made with a copy machine—have given a voice and visibility to many operating outside of mainstream culture. Artists have harnessed the medium’s essential role in communication and community building and used it to transform material and conceptual approaches to art making across all media. This canon-expanding exhibition documents zines’ relationship to various subcultures and avant-garde practices, from punk and street culture to conceptual, queer, and feminist art. It also examines zines’ intersections with other mediums, including collage, craft, film, drawing, painting, performance, photography, sculpture, and video. Featuring over one thousand zines and artworks by over one hundred artists, Copy Machine Manifestos demonstrates the importance of zines to artistic production and its reception across North America.
The exhibition is accompanied by the first comprehensive publication to explore artists’ zines, co-published with Phaidon Press, and including over 800 images of zines and works in other media alongside texts by the curators and specially commissioned essays by Gwen Allen, Julia Bryan-Wilson, Tavia Nyong’o, Alexis Salas, and Mimi Thi Nguyen, as well as an extensive section featuring biographies of all the artists represented in the project.
Copy Machine Manifestos: Artists Who Make Zines is organized by Branden W. Joseph, Frank Gallipoli Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art, Department of Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University, and Drew Sawyer, Sondra Gilman Curator of Photography at the Whitney Museum of American Art (formerly Phillip and Edith Leonian Curator of Photography, Brooklyn Museum), with Marcelo Gabriel Yáñez, Research Assistant, and Imani Williford, Curatorial Assistant, Photography, Fashion and Material Culture, Brooklyn Museum.