Zines+ and the World of ABC No Rio

Organized by Jason Lujan.

Zine is an abbreviation of the term fanzine, and in describing its history and uses Thomas Paine and Benjamin Franklin are commonly cited, often alongside 1970’s punk music. By straddling the line between functional brochure and works of art realized in book form, the zine has retained its popularity even as the internet has largely become the preferred method of self-publishing. Zines+ and The World of ABC No Rio, organized by Jason Lujan, is an exhibition that goes beyond the mere form of the zine, which is usually a cheaply-made and priced publication, often in black and white, mass-produced via a photocopier, and bound with staples. The exhibit presents and explains a range of these self-same printed materials, mixing both artists’ original creations with items from the ABC No Rio zine library archives, covering subject matter from arts-community history to political commentary.

The zines will be shown in the context of art in book form. The overall aesthetic reflects a Do-It-Yourself approach, firmly rooted in a downtown New York scene that celebrates volunteerism, art, and activism. The zine form lends itself as a tool for community activism and empowerment. And, through this exhibition that community’s voice, the Lower East Side downtown scene, is clearly articulated.

Center for Book Arts is pleased to present this engaging exhibition which builds upon CBAs recent exhibitions of similar vein, such as No More Drama: The Saga Continues, organized by Edwin Ramoran; From Bande Dessinée to Artist’s Book: Testing the Limits of Franco-Belgian Comics, organized by Catherine Labio; and Garo Manga: The First Decade, 1964-1973, organized by Ryan Holmberg. These exhibitions investigate the graphic novel, comics, and other related media as artistic vehicles for self-expression, social activism, and political criticism.

Support for Center for Book Arts’ visual arts programming is provided, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of the New York State Legislature, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

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