Brooklyn Museum Celebrates the Artistry of Zines in Groundbreaking Exhibit
By Brooklyn Museum
Ever found yourself at a music show, drawn to a table stacked with quirky booklets made with a copier? Maybe you’ve even tried your hand at crafting your own, channeling the rebellious spirit of punk culture? Whether you’re a seasoned zine creator or simply appreciate the raw creativity bursting from DIY titles, the Brooklyn Museum has something extraordinary for you.
For those itching to experience the nostalgia of zines (or looking for inspiration), look no further than Copy Machine Manifestos: Artists Who Make Zines, the first exhibition on the rich history of artists’ zines in North America over the past fifty years. The museum’s newest groundbreaking show will take you on an immersive journey. As you wander through the exhibit, you’ll experience the vibrant and largely unexamined world—until now—of zines.
Derived from “fanzine,” a zine is a self-published booklet showcasing original or appropriated texts and images, typically crafted with a copy machine. From punk and street culture to conceptual, queer, and feminist practices, zines have given a voice and visibility to many operating outside of mainstream culture.
Curated by Branden W. Joseph and Drew Sawyer, the exhibition features over a thousand objects and showcases nearly one hundred artists. Each section illuminates the diverse intersections of zines with other art forms, including painting, drawing, collage, photography, performance, sculpture, video, and film.
From mail art in the 1970s to the punk explosion, queer and feminist undergrounds, subcultural topologies, and critical promiscuity, Copy Machine Manifestos offers an in-depth look at the remarkable history and evolution of zines. The concluding section, “A Continuing Legacy,” underscores the central role of zine-making in the present-day artistic landscape.