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1980’s Skate Zine Retrospective at Commonwealth LA ~ Opens Dec. 16th

4:56 PM PST on December 12, 2017

NO SHITTY ADS is a comprehensive 1980’s skate zine retrospective presented by FACT. and the Skateboardmuseum Berlin. It opens this weekend at Commonwealth LA, and features a rich treasure-trove of handmade zines covering a wide variety of DIY skateboard culture.

As skateboarding started to be criminalized and reviled by the mainstream during the Reagan years, skate park after skate park was bulldozed into oblivion.

Skateboarding culture, which had been more grounded in general American sports culture, started to change, just as the locations shifted from concrete pools into wooden backyard half-pipes. Skating that originally was backed by the sounds of funk and disco changed to punk and New Wave and the glossy, benign skateboard magazines faded away and went out of business.

In their place came a new player. Thrasher skateboard magazine started up as a newsprint zine that encouraged the readers to start a zine of their own. They told their audience that it was time for a new energetic spirit with radical ideas to further expand previous established barriers. Take a pen in hand and draw upon this untapped energy and record the action from the source.” (Thrasher, June 1981).

The first known zine to follow this call to action was called Skate Fate, which was followed by hundreds of zines with cool names and DIY aesthetics in the following years. The style was punk, the content was a mix of the informative (skate tricks, news, photos of ramps) and the fun (photos of parties, original art, comics). Famous skateboarders like Steve Caballero, Tod Swank, Claus Grabke and many more created their own zines, contributed to others creations, or both.

The exhibition will display original zines from all over world, including Skate Fate, Swank Zine, Death Zone, Skate Punk, Speed Zine, etc. This will be complemented with DIY, punk and New Wave-inspired apparel and the option to look into selected zine reprints. Keep reading for the details on the opening, and some preview images of the installed show.


OPEN: SUN DEC 17-31, 11AM - 6PM

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