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University of Iowa News Release

Dec. 21, 2004

Intellectual Revolution Begins In The UI Libraries Exhibition

A revolution has begun with the latest University of Iowa Libraries exhibition, "Liberated Images: The Subversive Culture of Collage and Zines," that will be on display in the North Exhibition Hall of the Main Library through March 2005.

The exhibit showcases zines from the UI Libraries Alternative Traditions in the Contemporary Arts (ATCA) collection. The Periodicals and Zines Collection consists of journals, newspapers and zines dating from the 1960's. Most of these periodicals are art related or have artistic merit. The collection also includes periodicals concerned with music, film, poetry, politics, religion and sexual orientation. Implicit in the materials around which the program revolves is a sense of cooperation among the arts and other communication media.

The exhibition is presented in conjunction with the 2004-2005 Obermann Humanities Symposium, "Collage as Cultural Practice" (March 24-26), and the University of Iowa Museum of Art exhibition, "Interventionist Collage: From Dada to the Present" (Feb. 12 to April 3).

"Interventionist collage uses the material of the culture and re-contextualizes it into a critique," says Dr. Rudolph Kuenzli, professor of English and Cinema and Comparative Literature in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. "Zines have made use of this strategy to publish critiques that major media would not. It is a subversive knowledge and critical voice that suddenly bursts on the scene, yet is not represented in the mainstream."

Zines in the exhibition explore topics ranging from Dada and Surrealism to health and economics, as well as zine history and culture. In addition to the Libraries collection, zines have been provided by several local collectors and represent the local zine scene.

In 2000 Stephen Perkins, curator of art at the Lawton Gallery at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, donated his collection of zines to the UI Libraries.

"I hope students might get a sense of the excitement we all felt in the 1980s when we realized that with a couple of bucks and a trip to the nearest copy shop we could be an instant publisher. And we could publish anything we wanted -- nothing was taboo! This was a very empowering feeling," said Perkins. "Equally importantly we felt that we were part of a national and international network, and the zines provided the means through which a sense of community was created amongst the decentralized participants."

For more information about the UI Libraries ATCA collection, check online at www.lib.uiowa.edu/spec-coll/atca/intro.htm. A checklist of materials used in the exhibition is also online at www.lib.uiowa.edu/exhibit/friends/liberatedimages.html.

The exhibit is open during regular library hours. Admission is free.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010, tom-snee@uiowa.edu.