How to shoplift books


How to shoplift books
David Horvitz
Sep. 9 - Oct. 2, 2021 

Vernissage⎢Thurs. Sep. 9, 18 - 21 hr
Online Artist Talk⎢ Thurs. Sep. 23, 20 - 21 hr (CEST) 

On the occasion of the current exhibition How to shoplift books at, David Horvitz and Jan Steinbach were invited to talk about the ongoing artist book project How to shoplift books.

Co-Curator: Jan Steinbach

How to shoplift books by David Horvitz is a comprehensive guide on how to steal books. From the very practical, romantic and to the most imaginative, it gives 80 detailed instructions on how one can steal a book. Since 2013, the book has been released in 26 languages with the artist giving translators the liberty to change sentences to culturally more appropriate ones.

Take the original English instruction “Put the book inside a super sized soda cup and walk out pretending to drink the soda.” for example. In Portuguese, the super sized soda cup is changed to a giant bottle of guarana, while in Germany it is translated to a Döner(Kebab). Each language edition carries witty instructions that lets readers soak in the cultural and contemporary context rather than a dictionary definition.

At, readers are invited to view all different language editions of How to shoplift books and peek into other cultures. In the main exhibition space, the German edition Wie man Bücher klaut from Edition Taube will be in focus with instructions printed on colorful silkscreen sheets and selected objects from the book displayed that might tempt visitors to perform some of the micro-performances described within the book.

*The publication of How to shoplift books originated as a conversation Horvitz hosted at the 2011 New York Art Book Fair in David Senior’s Classroom series. Following the release of the first edition in 2013, the artist then collaborated with Jan Steinbach and Edition Taube to turn the book into a cultural translation pro­ject, collaborating with translators and publishing houses all over the world.

einBuch # 20 

Wie man Bücher klaut
David Horvitz

Edition Taube & Mark Pezinger Books, 2019

How to shoplift books Edition Taube, 2019
15.5 × 10.55 cm, 84 pp 1 color, paberback
Edition of 1000/500

Language: English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Chinese, Greek, Dutch, Brazilian Portuguese, Lithuanian, Danish, Korean, Georgian, Hebrew, Romanian, Swiss German, Russian, Japanese, Maltese, Kosovo Albanian, Hindi, Turkish, Serbian (Cyrillic), Serbian (Latin), Estonian, Hungarian, Icelandic, Swedish, All 28 versions

ISBN 978-3-945900-20-8 (English)

Unique Poster: Wie man Bücher klaut 

David Horvitz

Playful and poetic, the works of David Horvitz (Los Angeles, 1982), an ocean romantic, based in Los Angeles, California, meddle with the systems of language, time and networks, hyper-paced Zoom calls, emails, and images transmitted through screens. Eschewing categorization, his expansive nomadic body of work, traversing the forms of photographs, word of mouth and physical movement or distribution, artist books, performances, memes, mail art, sound, rubber stamps, gastronomy, weather, travel, walks, and watercolour, is presented through examining questions of distance between places, people and time in order to test the possibilities of appropriating, undermining or even erasing this distance.

As lullabies imprinted in our head, Horvitz deploys art as both object of contemplation and as viral or systemic tool to effect change on a personal scale. David Horvitz makes fictions that insert themselves surreptitiously into the real. Shifting seamlessly pebbles often possess a naturally frosted finish.

  • Funded by Stiftung Kunstfonds, das NEUSTART KULTUR-Programm and Senate Department for Culture and Europe.


Exhibition view: David Hortvitz, How to shoplift books, einBuchhaus. 2021 (Photo: Mikyung Song)


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