The Amsterdam Zine Jam is an annual fair showcasing hundreds of independent short-run publications. It gathers zines from all over the world, and invites small publishers to present their work. Within this context and given our experience with zine production, Roger Serret and I were invited to host a two-hour workshop. We gave it the title ‘Memory of a Zine’.
Memory of a Zine was a workshop inspired by the well known cut outs by Henri Matisse.
The title is a twist on Matisse’s Memory of Oceania.
Roger and I guided a group of fifteen people to get free from the figurative way of thinking and creating, in three stages. The participants could let their minds flow into a world of abstraction and randomness.
In every stage, the participants had to create their own cut out compositions on paper formats of 50x70cm and 100x70cm.
Stage 1: Photomatisse
In part one, the participants had to pick an existing photography and reproduce it as a collage within fifteen minutes. They had to find the essential parts of the image, and skip the details.
Stage 2: Memory of…
In part two the source picture had to be vague: a personal memory. Again, they had just fifteen minutes to translate that memory into a collage. This led to more abstract, less accurate compositions.
Stage 3: Automatisse
Within just ten minutes, there was no source image provided to reproduce. The artists had to go wild and fastly create big collages using paper left overs, creating random shapes, letting their intuition generate new images. The results were great.
In the end we gathered all the collages and created a zine of 50x70cm, quite an unusual format for this sort of publications, which are normally little. The zine remained exhibited at the Amsterdam Zine Jam.
Next to the workshop and big zine, we printed out a smaller format zine (A4), reporting the workshop itself.
Finally, we built an installation with Matisse’s Memory of Oceania cut out in 3D wooden pieces. The AZJ visitors could play with the pieces creating their own version of the collage.