The Book Catalog as Art Object

I just got back from the New York Book Fair, an event which is part library, part bazaar, part archive, part museum, part gala, part prom. It is also a business convention. Book dealing is a business. You can talk about the art of bookselling. The art of the deal. The art of opening and establishing markets. The art of making relationships. The art of finding material. In a similar vein, the economics of the art market is well documented on these points. I increasingly find this aspect of book collecting and book dealing fascinating.

Yet as Division Leap shows there are other ways to look at the art of book selling. For example as a work of art. Adam and Kate's latest catalog is full of artist's magazines, little mags, ephemera from art scenes (like stills and flyers). Yet the catalog itself is that which it sells. With its sandpaper cover (Jorn, Debord, Situationists), its supplemental Warhol cover (Fuck You, C) and limited edition, the catalog is a piece of art. This idea draws on conceptual art exhibition catalogs which were works of art in themselves, and I see Ed Sanders' book catalogs as another inspiration.

What makes this catalog even more interesting besides the format is that as Olson and Creeley dictate: Form is never more than an extension of content. The form and format of the catalog provide a context for and enhance the items Kate and Adam are selling. The items in the catalog tie together as in-your-face, confrontational, abrasive, rough-around-the-edges.

I also see this catalog as a de facto issue of Division Leap, the magazine. Both the magazine and the catalog creatively present concepts related to archiving, cataloging, institutionalizing, filing, gathering, assembling etc.

Did I mention that the items in the catalog are kick ass as well? Kate and Adam back up the catalog by actually showcasing items you want to buy. They blow your mind, open your eyes, and hit you in the wallet. That is the core of the business of bookselling.

Place your copy of Division Leap 13 in your bookself next to your more blue blood book catalogs. It will tear them just another asshole.

Get a copy if you can, if not



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