A Catalog, A Definition, A Divergence

Catalog. n.1. Library Science. a list of the contents of a library of a group of libraries, arranged acording to any of various systems. 2. a list usually alphabetical order, with brief notes on the names, articles, etc., listed. 3. a book, leaflet, or file containing such a list or record. (Webster Unabridged Dictionary)

“… Already today, as the contemporary mode of knowledge production demonstrates, the book is an obsolote mediation between two different card filing systems. For everything essential is found in the note boxes of the researcher who writes it, and the reader who studies it assimilates it into his or her own note file. (Walter Benjamin, One Way Street)

In the museum shops in The Hague and throughout Holland can be found big glossy-colored-covered catalogues which contain the works of the Seventeenth Century Dutch Golden Age.

These catalogues, containing hundred of small black and white reproductions and some sumputuso color plates denoting the various museums’ extensive collections and borrowed works, become themselves coveted objects. I too have stood on line for these catalogues, which weighted down my luggage as would have the golden plates and bounty of fruit depicted inside.

What is assembled here? Another catalogue, but one in keeping with the initial request from The Seventh Museum…”

Renée Green

Contributors: A. C. van Bokhoven, Magdalena Pattianakotta, Renée Green

Language: English, Dutch