Boekie Woekie

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Artist bookstore in Amsterdam.

Boekie Woekie, books by artists, began paying rent for a tiny space in downtown Amsterdam on January 1st, 1986. It was then seen by its 6 founders (artists from 3 countries living in Amsterdam) as a shop for their own publications. After the first 5 years and some reshuffling of the group and with 3 of the founders left, Boekie Woekie began its second phase in a quite much bigger shop space around the corner and with a renewed concept resulting from the gained experience: the new shop opened for publications by others. There are now about 7000 titles - almost exclusively self published or small press books. Those who run it – Henriëtte van Egten (Dutch), Rúna Thorkelsdóttir (Icelandic) and Jan Voss (German) have continued their personal artists’ careers and since years count the shop itself as a sculpture in progress they work on concertedly. A small gallery space has belonged to Boekie Woekie from the beginning. There never came a stop to very small scale publishing (3 or 4 titles a year) which has lead to the yearly participation in one or two book fairs (Frankfurt, London, New York). The entirely self financing enterprise is Europe’s, if not the world’s, venue for artists’ books the longest in existence which carries books regardless to their author's fame. [1]

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