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Nick Zedd (born May 8, 1958) is an American filmmaker and author based in New York City. He coined the term Cinema of Transgression in 1985 to describe a loose-knit group of like-minded filmmakers and artists using shock value and black humor in their work. These filmmakers and artistic collaborators included Richard Kern, Tessa Hughes Freeland, Lung Leg and Lydia Lunch. Under numerous pen names, Zedd edited and wrote the Underground Film Bulletin (1984–90) which publicized the work of these filmmakers. The Cinema of Transgression was explored in Jack Sargeant's book Deathtripping (Creation Books).
Nick Zedd has directed several super-low-budget feature-length movies, including the They Eat Scum and Geek Maggot Bingo, as well as numerous short films. With Rev. Jen Miller, he is the co-creator of the public access series Electra Elf (2004-), featuring Miller, Faceboy, Andrew J. Lederer and a "who's who" of New York downtown artists and performers. He served as director of photography on another TV series called Chop Chop (2007), produced by Nate Hill.
Additionally, Zedd has acted in such super-low-budget films as the Super-8 film The Manhattan Love Suicides (1985), What About Me (1993), Bubblegum (1995), Jonas in the Desert (1997), Troma Films' Terror Firmer (1999) and Thus Spake Zarathustra (2001). He also appeared in the documentaries Llik Your Idols (2007) and Blank City (2010).
He is the author of two autobiographical books, Bleed (1992, Hanuman Books) and Totem of the Depraved (1996, 2.13.61Publications), as well as the self-published novel From Entropy to Ecstasy (1996). Additional writing by Zedd was featured in Up Is Up But So Is Down (NYU Press) as well as in Captured (7 Stories Press) and Low Rent (Grove Press). Zedd anonymously published Cinema of Transgression Manifesto, an essay outlining his philosophy, in the Underground Film Bulletin and The Theory of Xenomorphosis (1998).
In the early 1990s, Zedd toured with Lisa Crystal Carver's Suckdog Circus, exhibiting his films. Performing with experimental noise band Zyklon Beatles, Zedd released the "Consume and Die" 7" single on Rubric Records in 2000.
After exhibiting oil paintings in 2010 at the ADA and Pendu galleries, Zedd presented a major retrospective of films, videos and paintings at the Microscope Gallery in Bushwick, Brooklyn before moving to Mexico in March 2011.
In 2013, Zedd published "The Extremist Manifesto", an essay denouncing contemporary art and the class structure that promotes it while announcing the emergence of the "extremism" covert art movement in Mexico City subverting the edicts of established art institutions and curatorial ideologues. This manifesto, first released online, then in a self-published Hatred of Capitalism magazine issued in Mexico City (in English and Spanish), sent shock waves through the art world and was reprinted a year later by the Chopo Museum, along with two more issues as part of the Fanzinoteka exhibition. At a screening in the New Museum in New York, Zedd was presented with the Acker Award for Lifetime Achievement, a tribute given to "members of the avant garde arts community who have made outstanding contributions in their discipline in defiance of convention, or else served their fellow writers and artists in outstanding ways".
In 2014, Zedd exhibited three motion pictures at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City as part of a retrospective of films by Christoph Schlingensief, who, prior to his death, had cited Zedd as a major influence on his work. Later in 2014, Zedd presented his first public exhibition of paintings in Mexico City, in a group show curated by Aldo Flores at Salon des Aztecas Gallery in Coyoacán.
In 2015, Zedd presented his first one-man show of paintings at the V&S Galery in Mexico City. Zedd also shot an 8mm short entitled Paradise Lost with a borrowed Russian camera for inclusion in a feature length compilation with contributions from underground filmmakers from many countries. Zedd's movie documents the contents of his apartment and his family in Condesa during an eviction proceeding that resulted in the complete destruction of the building along with the forced exile of all of the tenants.
- They Eat Scum (1979)
- The Bogus Man (1980)
- Geek Maggot Bingo (1983)
- The Wild World of Lydia Lunch (1983)
- Thrust in Me (1984)
- "School of Shame" (1984)
- Kiss Me Goodbye (1986)
- Go to Hell (1986)
- Police State (1987)
- Whoregasm (1988)
- War Is Menstrual Envy (1992)
- Smiling Faces Tell Lies (1995)
- Why Do You Exist (1998)
- Tom Thumb in the Land of the Giants (1999)
- Ecstasy in Entropy (1999)
- I of K9 (2001)
- Elf Panties: The Movie (2001)
- Lord of the Cockrings (2001)
- Thus Spake Zarathustra (2001)
- I Was a Quality of Life Violation (2002)
- Electra Elf: Dance With the Devil (2003)
- Electra Elf: Maggot on a Hot Tin Roof (2003)
- Electra Elf: Old Man & the Sea Monkey (2003)
- Electra Elf: Great Shrunken Expectations (2004)
- Electra Elf: Roof Party (2004)
- Electra Elf: I, Nauseous (2004)
- Electra Elf: Hellbound Heiresses (2004)
- Electra Elf: Deadly Little Trees (2005)
- Electra Elf: Triumph of the Ill (2005)
- Electra Elf: Of Lice and Men (2005)
- Electra Elf: The Beginning Parts One & Two (2005)
- Electra Elf: Don't Worry Bee Happy (2006)
- Electra Elf: Vile Buddies (2006)
- Electra Elf: Battle of the Bands (2006)
- Electra Elf: No Plague Like Home (2007)
- "Filthy Rich" (2007)
- Electra Elf: We All Scream for Ice Cream (2007)
- Electra Elf: Behind the Scenes (2007)
- Mistakes Hapen (2007)
- Electra Elf: Hollow Be Thy Name (2007)
- Electra Elf: Goin to the Chapel (2007)
- Electra Elf: Gone with the Mind (2008)
- NYC/MEXICO (2011)
- The Birth of Zerak (2011)
- Paintings 2009-11 (2011)
- "Frustration/Dr. Shinto" (2011)
- Cockfight (2012)
- El Manifiesto Extremista (2013)
- Demonic Sweaters: Love Always Love (2014)
- "Paradise Lost" (2015)
- "The Death of Muffinhead" (2016)
- "Attack of the Particle Disruptors" (2016)
- "Demonica" (2017)
- "Eclipse of the Ectoparasite" (2017)
- ADA Gallery homepage, http://www.adagallery.com/Nick_Zedd1.html
- Pendu Gallery Events Archive, http://pendunyc.com/events/11-05-10/
- Microscope Gallery homepage, http://www.microscopegallery.com/?page_id=913
- [DL8], Feb. 19, 2012, Special Presentation by Nick Zedd, http://berlinlounge.tumblr.com/post/16504907584/special-presentation-by-nick-zedd
- Kunstwerke Institute for Contemporary Art, Feb. 19 - Apr. 8, 2012, You Killed Me First, http://www.kw-berlin.de/en/exhibitions/you_killed_me_first_55
- "For Nonconforming Artists, the Envelope Please". 2 June 2013.
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