A new exhibit curated by FGCU Library Archives and Special Collections confronts the prevalence of sexual harassment, misconduct and violence in our culture through the lens of underground art and writing.
“Rape Culture: Zines & Artists’ Books” showcases published works from 1970 to the present that address the pervasive issue of rape and sexual assault. This provocative and moving exhibit is on display in Library Room 322 through April 18, with an opening reception 5:30-7:30 p.m. Jan. 25.
“The works exhibited provide a candid and inclusive view of how rape has permeated contemporary culture,” says Melissa Minds VandeBurgt, Head of Archives, Special Collections, and Digital Initiatives. “According to the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN), someone in America is raped every 98 seconds. Rape ‘culture’ is the language, laws and prevailing social attitudes that normalize these disturbingly frequent acts of violence.”
The exhibit uses two mediums to confront the issue and encourages visitors to reflect on their own attitudes and conduct that may perpetuate this normalization, she says.
Zines and artists’ books are a platform for personal expression created without censorship or outside influence. Zines, derived from “magazines,” are alternative publications constructed using inexpensive, easily accessible materials. As a genre, zines have historically been used by political, social and counterculture movements to easily and inexpensively proliferate information. They are often created in a cooperative, employing multiple modes of expression such as poetry, essays and visual art.
An artist’s book is a medium that employs the structure of a book as inspiration while challenging the conventional contents of a printed volume. In contrast to zines, artists’ books are produced in limited numbers and are classified as works of art typically produced by a single creator.
The exhibit is open to the public, and viewing hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Call 239-590-7506 or email [email protected] for more information.