Abba Zaba Books
Since 2020, I have been selling a distinct assortment of used books online under the name Abba Zaba Books.
Abba Zaba offers media both groovy & grotesque. It specializes in thrashed paperbacks—the finest flowers in the dustbin—bleak beach reads, soft sci-fi, occasional castoffs from dead starlets. It circulates an alt canon: discordant visions for restless intellects, Acker/Genet/Mishima punks—books oozing aura and negative appeal. It puts specific emphasis on feminst, queer, and BIPOC perspectives, punk and avant garde currents.
All along, I have framed the project as an extension of my social practice, and I’ve sought out ways to collaborate with my community beyond transactions. The project has emerged into a curatorial platform with regular literary events featuring readings, themed artwork and a gallery of bookends commissioned for Abba Zaba.
Abba Zaba Open House I
Saturday, August 7, 2020
Mesa Gallery, Las Vegas, NV
The first AZ Open House featured handpicked literature, artwork by Sean Slattery, Dan Hernandez and Erin K Drew, custom bookends by Robin Hustle and Anna Martinez, and readings and performances by Bethy Squires in support of her book The Ant Queen and the Bounty Hunter, Brent Holmes and Aaron Cowan. Poster by Erin K Drew.
Abba Zaba Open House II
Saturday, December 18
Las Vegas, NV
The second AZ Open House was an intimate assemblage of guests at the home of midcentury furniture vendors & full-time comrades, Lady and the Lamp LV. It featured performances by Emji Saint Spero and Jeremy Kennedy, live from the casino floor and elevator at El Cortez, readings by Tiffany Lin, and custom bookends by Cesar Piedra. Graphic by Alexys Keller aka @bbuttocks.
Abba Zaba Reading Room
UNLV Graduate Art Studios
The Abba Zaba Reading Room was an attempt to spin an online side hustle into a social experience. Since my studio temporarily doubled as a storage space for my book selling business, I invited guests to visit and read passages of their choice to me one-on-one. In a year of accelerated screen time, these intimate interactions took on special resonance.