London: The Art of the Photography Zine

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Zines are dispatches from the creative underground, and this summer at Zineophobia a collection of photography from Southern California’s tweaked zine scene came to London’s 71a Gallery in the heart of bustling Shoreditch.

“Zines are little democratic showcases,” says Clint Woodside, photographer and founder of the Deadbeat Collective, whose loosely affiliated members exhibited at the basement art space. “I use them to shake down work, to look at how bigger projects are coming together. I think my work always looks better in book form, and zines are like simple, handmade books.”
 


Devin Briggs signs a magazine on the back of fellow Deadbeat Nolan Hall

Historically zines are where the best stuff breaks through from the underground to above the line – an unrestricted creative space where outsiders and radicals are free to hone their artistic instincts.

Central to Zineophobia is the work of Ed and Deanna Templeton. Ed is one of the most influential skateboarders around and an artist and photographer of international renown; Deanna is an outstanding portrait photographer and Ed’s constant companion.

The whole idea of the Deadbeat Club was a positive consequence of a painful skateboarding injury that occurred a few years ago. “I broke my leg skating and the injury pretty much put an end to my career as an active skateboarder,” Ed tells me on the show’s opening night. “But my friend Clint Woodside came to me while I was recovering and asked me if I wanted to get involved in publishing my stuff without having to do all the hustling myself. It made sense straight away.”

The Deadbeat Press has been helping to publish lesser-known work ever since, and the show at 71a featured the strange, otherworldly work of Grant Hatfield, Nolan Hall and Devin Briggs alongside Clint Woodside, Ed and Deanna.

“I’m not a man of absolutes, said Clint Woodside, “but I always prefer turning the pages of a book to clicking and scrolling on a screen…”

Ed and Deanna Templeton discussing their work