‘Zines have become one of the most accessible and flexible platforms for artists, poets, and authors to present their ideas and work to a wide audience. Typically self-published, these gems of portable art and literary expression are the perfect medium for a broad range of topics, uncensored accounts, and self-expression that is not always a good fit for edited and commercially-packaged publications. Personal ‘zines (“perzines”) cover autobiographical and anecdotal ruminations, as well as ideas on politics, music, social, and environmental issues.
The new exhibition at the U of C Special Collections Gallery focuses on perzines produced by women, representing the 1990s to the present day. Included among the many items are eight pieces by 2009 InterArts Book and Paper alumna Marian Runk. Her characteristic storytelling talents are on display in the pieces, as well as her illustrations on both interior pages, and covers that are often printed on handmade paper.
This exhibition appears concurrently with two Chicago zine-related events, the fourth annual Chicago Zine Fest, and the Caxton Club/Newberry Library Symposium on the Book, which will present a panel entitled “OUTSIDERS: Zines, Samizdat, and Alternative Publishing,” exploring the world of the alternative press with experts from around the country.
My Life is an Open Book: DIY Autobiography was curated by Sarah G. Wenzel, Bibliographer Literatures of Europe & the Americas. The exhibition is on view from January 14 – April 13, 2013, in the Special Collections Research Center Exhibition Gallery, 1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL. For more information, click here.