The Kunstverein Bielefeld is delighted to present Black Pages, introducing a format conceived as an exhibition space in printed form. Every issue is based on a pre-determined structure; the journal is always published in an edition of three hundred, printed in black and white in A5 format. In each issue, international artists are invited to create work filling twenty pages, with a cover featuring only each artist’s first name. These principles connect Black Pages to the idea of the fanzine, an alternative communications medium which has flourished since the beginning of the twentieth century. In a variety of subcultures, fanzines were recognized as a cheap way of directly propagating ideas, outside established institutional structures and hegemonic structures. For artists, they offered new platforms of presentation, representation and distribution.
A project developed by Black Pages now makes the fanzine digitally available for the first time, accessible on the online platform of the Kunstverein Bielefeld. Using a procedure like that of a slot machine procedure, the ninety-five issues already published individually can be partially viewed and purchased. In keeping with the principles of Black Pages, the random action of the slot machine undermines the choice of a specific issue. In addition, the distribution process is central to the exhibition as a whole: the project only comes to completion when an issue of the fanzine is ordered, at a nominal charge of €2, and can be experienced as an exhibition in print form.
Black Pages was founded in Vienna in 2009 by Christoph Meier, Ute Müller and Nick Oberthaler. The series is held by institutional collections including MACBA Barcelona, the libraries of Columbus College of Art & Design in Ohio, MUMOK Wien, the University of Applied Arts Vienna, the Center for Artist’s Publications at the Museum für moderne Kunst Weserburg at Bremen, and the Artist’s Books Collection at Rennes University.
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of the brochure by students of Visual Science and Art History Department, University of Bielefeld
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