September 19th, 2013
Last night, DIY (Visits Chicago): Photographers and Books opened at The Center for Book and Paper Arts at Columbia College. Free and open to the public, the show was juried by Greg Harris (Associate Curator at the DePaul Art Museum), Karen Irvine (Curator/Associate Director at the Museum of Contemporary Photography), Jessica Cochran (Curator of Exhibitions and Programs at the Center for Book and Paper Arts), and Steve Woodall (Director at the Center for Book and Paper Arts).
DIY (Visits Chicago) collects printed works from over forty artists, and it aims to explore the role that print-on-demand plays for contemporary photographers and artists working in independent book publishing.
The show, which assembled its work from an online call for entries this past summer, was inspired by a curated 2012 exhibition at the Cleveland Museum of Art entitled DIY: Photographers and Books. Like the Columbia show, DIY: Photographers and Books focused on the use of print-on-demand, and it billed itself as the first museum exhibition to do so. The exhibition page for DIY (Visits Chicago) describes itself as “a second iteration of an exhibition exploring print-on-demand photo books” and it concludes its description with the question, “How do photographers engage the book form in ways that are experimentally visual and conceptual, while pushing the possibilities of print on demand publishing?”
I have not yet had the opportunity to view the exhibition, but I look forward to exploring what I hope to be a wide variety of works exploring the print-on-demand format. I’m not immediately familiar with many of the featured artists (forgive me for my ignorance), but a quick perusal of the list of participants did reveal at least one recent SAIC alumnus, Sarah K. Benning. The show runs until December 7.
For anyone interested in exploring self-publishing through print-on-demand services, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America website has a fairly comprehensive article with lots of information and resources.