3/20/15 5:28 PM
Dust jackets have always seemed unnecessary to me. I throw them out, mildly pained by the waste of paper and ink. Buzz Spector cuts them up, categorizes their parts (author photos, phrases of praise, conventional subheadings), then reconfigures them into collages of repetition and excess. Spector has long treated books as a raw material for art making, but his typological forays are less well known. An orderly grid of the phrase “About the author” (and its similars “About the authors” and “The author”) reminds a Canadian-born critic of native differences in the pronunciation of certain English words. A tidy jumble of fragmented photos of authors, each posed against shelves of books, books that must have photos of their own authors posed in front of more books, dizzies. Little moments of genius occur here, amid the stacks, as Spector lines up half an author’s face with another’s, creating one face where there were two, or even three. To a book lover, even one who chucks her dust jackets, all of this can seem sacrilegious, but only heretics really care enough to question that which they love.