Michael H. Shamberg Zine

This zine is published to celebrate the exhibition, Michael H. Shamberg / Archive. One of the inaugural exhibitions at the new White columns space at 91 Horatio Street, NYC NY 10014.

This was the first exhibition dedicated to the life and work of the artist, filmmaker, and video producer Michael H. Shamberg (1952-2014.) Drawn exclusively from Shamberg’s archives the exhibition takes the form of a ‘portrait’, albeit an incomplete one, of a visionary individual whose revolutionary thinking – about art, film, and music – changed the course of popular culture.

Michael Shamberg was born in New York in 1952, and grew up in suburban Baltimore. He studied at Villanova University and at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. In the mid 1970s he moved back to New York, where he worked at The Kitchen as a video assistant. Shamberg’s drawings and notebooks from this time reflect his interest in post-minimalism and site-related installation work. From 1976 onwards Shamberg’s interest in New York’s shifting downtown music scene becomes more apparent, evidenced in his interest in the work of the then recently-formed Talking Heads. In 1980 Shamberg began work on ‘Tribeca’, a short film shot in New York with the Manchester-based post-punk group A Certain Ratio. It was through making ‘Tribeca’ that Shamberg first came into contact with New Order (who has only recently formed, following the death of Joy Division’s singer Ian Curtis). This meeting would initiate a friendship and working partnership with New Order that would last until Shamberg’s death in 2014. Working effectively as New Order’s de facto ‘creative director’ in the United States Shamberg was responsible for commissioning the many artists and filmmakers who would collaborate on projects with the band, inc. John Baldessari, Kathryn Bigelow, Jonathan Demme, Robert Frank, Barbara Kruger, Robert Longo, William Wegman and Robert Breer, and Lawrence Weiner among others. From the early 1980s Shamberg also ran Factory Records U.S. operations from offices above White Columns gallery at 325 Spring Street, whilst working simultaneously as a film and video producer and director for artists, musicians, and filmmakers including Beth B., Lawrence Weiner, Grace Jones, R.E.M., Dan Graham, Patti Smith, and The B-52’s, among many others. Shamberg’s first feature film ‘Souvenir‘, which took more than five years to complete, was released to critical acclaim in 1999. In the early 2000s Shamberg contracted a progressive neurological disease that would ultimately shape the last decade of his life. During this time Shamberg created ‘Turtle’, an open-ended series of “anarchic salons” held in the U.K., France, Germany and beyond. At London’s Chelsea Space in 2006 ‘Turtle’ was announced as “an open and chaotic network of diverse but interconnecting ideas, people, projects, events, and venues linked by American filmmaker Michael H. Shamberg.”

Boo-Hooray & White Columns, 2018
Softcover, 44pp
280 x 212mm

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