Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Zines for Sale?

Zines! - a few pages put together of creative genius, (most of the time!) They are independent ventures, self-published, hand made - they don’t have to be glossy or designed to perfection; and it is because of this lack of expectation, that they are often beautiful and inspiring pieces of work. They can be made in the fleet of the moment, or carefully put together over time. Zines give the opportunity for experimentation, a chance for artists to question and explore, or even a moment for meaningless fun. With the zines, anything goes.

This week, the artist collective, Artinavan// have set up a zine shop in their pop-up gallery in the Brixton Village Market. I went down there to have a snoop around and we all got talking about the zine dilemma – should you charge people for a zine, and if so, how much? Zines are meant to be fun collaborations that are distributed as a way of sharing ideas and not a way of profiting; there is no hidden agenda. You swap zines, you hand them out to friends, you leave them in studios for lucky passers by. But on the other hand, the amount of time and effort that often goes in to making them should surely be recognized by some sort of fee – even if it is a small one at that? I will happily pay a couple of quid - but does this go against the tradition? No? Yes? We remain undecided.

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