“Are you decorating a room? Building a library? Designing a theater or film set?” The Strand bookstore’s website offers to help you assemble collections—overnight!—of books by the foot, arranged by binding material (antique leather or the winsome “leather looking”), subject (art monographs, cookbooks, biographies, or contemporary fiction), or color (also a subset of the subject option, as in law books in “green, black, red, maroon, and blue”). That such a service is utilized in Manhattan is unsurprising. Nonetheless, its viability is but a telling instance of a persistent, broader repackaging of culture.
It happens to be a salient example, too, in relation to New York–based artist Yuri Masnyj, whose work engages the recycling of cultural material, whether of a Géricault painting, a Cubist assemblage, or an Eames stool. Masnyj’s deftly recontextualized appropriations invariably domesticate
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