Salford Zine Library

Fanspeak, 2-24 November 2019

We’re delighted to be collaborating with Shy Bairns on their new exhibition at the Castlefield Gallery, which runs from November 2nd to November 24th.

Fanspeak features artists whose work appropriates fan-like production, emulating the content, objects and homages produced by fans of movies, music, sports, celebrities, and TV shows. Working with sculpture, painting and video, the artists interrogate pop and sub-cultural references in order to disrupt our relationship with them. The exhibition brings together an exciting group of artists working with relevant and timely subject matter.

Fan Speak (noun): slang or jargon present in fandom, particularly the acronyms, in-jokes and obscure terms used among readers and writers of science fiction fanzines.

In the worlds of Fandom, the message boards of obscure websites overflow with heightened emotions on subjects that have little value to the uninitiated. Fandom sees its creators dissecting their obsessions, becoming over-attached as they over-analyse them, ultimately mixing adoration with critique. The nature of this dedicated study enables fans to deconstruct the thing they love and rebuild it. They learn more about it, comparing it to their reality, and then rewriting it, inserting themselves into a fan-fiction hybrid. The artists in this exhibition explore this phenomenon with sensitivity, intelligence and, at times, humor. Including Lydia Blakeley’s paintings of aspirational luxury which move from the banal to the uncanny, Kurdwin Ayub’s uncomfortable homemade homages to actors and singers, Maya Ben David’s sexualized Pokémorphs, and Graham Dolphin’s sculptural remakes of public memorials made by fans of dead icons.

Saturday 9 November, 12noon – 2:00pm

Exhibition Tour, Show and Tell

Alongside the exhibition will be a day of related activities led by Shy Bairns; a collective-led tour of the exhibition will invite visitors to contribute to the conversation, with the opportunity to discuss the works presented and the ideas behind the exhibition. Visitors will also be invited to bring and share their own pop and alt cultural obsessions, opening up a wider dialogue around fan culture and production.

Saturday 9 November, 3pm – 5:30pm

Zine making workshop £5, free tickets available for low-income participants or access support workers

An afternoon zine making workshop, situated within the exhibition’s zine library, will explore the history of zine making and methods of zine production. Attendees will work collaboratively alongside Shy Bairns to produce a new zine for display within the exhibition.

[Both the tour and workshop will be relaxed and seating will be provided.]

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