Johanna Fateman Riot Grrrl Papers
Language of Materials
Johanna Fateman is a writer, musician, record producer, and business owner who was a member of the bands Le Tigre and MEN. She created zines and played in multiple bands as part of punk feminist scene in the 1990s, and after graduating from the School of Visual Art with a BFA in painting began working as a studio assistant to artists and a curatorial assistant in galleries and art spaces. In addition to writing, performing, and producing music, Fateman also writes critically, with her work featured in publications like The New York Times and The Observer. This collection consists of materials created and collected by Fateman documenting her involvement in the punk and riot grrrl scenes, including correspondence, ephemera, zines (including both masters created by and zines collected by Fateman), publicity material, photographs, video recordings, and stage outfits from Le Tigre and MEN.
Johanna Fateman was born in 1974 and was brought up in Berkeley, California by parents Richard and Martha Fateman. She was close friends with Miranda July (née Grossinger) in high school, which she left after her junior year at age 17 to attend Reed College in Portland, Oregon for two years. During these years and a subsequent year after leaving college in Portland, Fateman and July collaborated on the writing and publication of six issues of a zine called Snarla, a feminist art project informed by and distributed through underground punk networks -- given to women at punk shows at 924 Gilman in Berkeley as well in Portland and in Santa Cruz, California where July lived for several years. It was also available directly from the two of them via mailorder for one dollar bill, and eventually from a few record stores and from Riot Grrrl Press. While attending Reed College Fateman met video artist Sadie Benning at a screening of her work at the Portland Art Museum.
At a Bikini Kill show at the X-Ray Cafe in Portland, Fateman gave singer Kathleen Hanna a copy of issue #1 (Snarla In Love). They became close friends and Hanna moved into Fateman's house, a punk feminist communal house called The Curse. They started a short-lived band called The Troublemakers with Molly McMahon (Molly Sixteen).
In 1994 Fateman moved to New York City to go to art school. Molly Sixteen killed herself in 1995. Fateman made the zine The Opposite, Part I in the summer of 1996. It was not formally distributed outside of New York City; it was given to friends and it was sold at See Hear on St Marks Place and Printed Matter. Later that year she produced My Need to Speak on the Subject of Jackson Pollock, and Artaud-Mania! which were only given to friends, teachers, and other art students.
After graduating from the School of Visual Art with an BFA in painting, Johanna worked as a studio assistant for artists Mary Heilmann and Billy Sullivan, and from 1998-1999 was the curatorial assistant at alternative art venue Thread Waxing Space. Also in the late 90s Fateman, Hanna, and Benning started the band Le Tigre and recorded their self-titled debut album. Benning quit the band in 2000 and JD Samson joined. Le Tigre had several more releases, toured internationally, and broke up in 2005. A film about Le Tigre's touring and performances from 2004-2005 was released on DVD in 2011.
Fateman has co-owned Seagull Salon in the West Village since 2006. She continues to write critically as well as write and produce music.
This collection is arranged into nine series, with folders and media in Series I through IV arranged alphabetically within the individual series.
Series I. Works by Johanna Fateman
Series II. Zines and Ephemera
Series III. Correspondence
Series IV. Media
Oversize Series I
Oversize Series II
Accretion 2011: Subseries I: Works by Johanna Fateman
Accretion 2011: Subseries II: Zines and Ephemera
Scope and Content note
This collection consists of materials created and collected by Fateman documenting her involvement in the punk and riot grrrl scenes, including correspondence, ephemera, zines (including both masters created by and zines collected by Fateman), publicity material, photographs, video recordings, and stage outfits from Le Tigre and MEN.
Conditions Governing Access
Materials are open to researchers. Please contact the Fales Library and Special Collections, firstname.lastname@example.org, 212-998-2596.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright (or related rights to publicity and privacy) for materials in this collection was not transferred to New York University. Permission to use materials must be secured from the copyright holder. Please contact the Fales Library and Special Collections, email@example.com, 212-998-2596.
Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date (if known); Johanna Fateman Riot Grrrl Collection; MSS 258; box number; folder number; Fales Library and Special Collections, New York University Libraries.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated by Johanna Fateman in 2010, with additions to the collection in 2011 and 2015. The accession numbers associated with these gifts are 2011.258 and 2016.002.
About this Guide
Oversize Series I and II contain large items and items previously housed in smaller folders. Items removed from other folders share the same name as their smaller counterparts. In early 2016, the 2015 addition to this collection was accessioned and moved into archival housing. In keeping with previous arrangement and description decisions, these materials were added to the collection as a separate series.