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The Annotated Reader

The Annotated Reader
The Annotated Reader

Preview and Book Launch: The Annotated Reader
Thu 20 Jun, 6–8pm. Free.

To launch The Annotated Reader exhibition and book, join us for a glass of wine and a chance to hear from Ryan Gander and Jonathan P. Watts in conversation with Dean Hughes, artist and Professor, Northumbria University.

Preview 6.45–8pm

The Annotated Reader: A publication-as-exhibition and exhibition-as-publication conceived by Ryan Gander and Jonathan P. Watts
Thu 20 Jun – Sun 14 Jul 2019

Imagine you’ve missed the last train. Is there one piece of writing that you would want with you for company in the small hours? Perhaps this text transformed your thinking. It might be a mantra continually returned to. Perhaps it is a text you felt should be read by younger generations or that you wish you’d encountered as a student.

Artist Ryan Gander and critic and writer Jonathan P. Watts put this question to a range of creatives, artists, academics, writers, musicians, and designers, inviting them to suggest such a piece of writing and then annotate it. The annotations add a further layer to the texts, demonstrating and suggesting ways of reading, displaying thought, complicating the relationship between image and text, reading and looking.

Collected together to form a library for our times, The Annotated Reader includes texts beloved of almost 300 contributors including Marina Abramović, Art & Language, Paul Clinton, Tom Godfrey, Ragnar Kjartansson, Sarah Lucas, Alistair Hudson and Hans Ulrich Obrist.

First launched during Frieze London 2018, the project has now embarked on an international tour, with the aim of disseminating knowledge freely and equally. A snapshot of the preoccupations and perspectives of hundreds of inspiring and creative people throughout the world, it is also an educational resource that can be used as a teaching aid for future generations. The Annotated Reader is a curriculum, an index and an ethics.

In the exhibition, the texts are printed out and exhibited as stacks hanging from the walls. Visitors may tear off printed texts to compile their own Annotated Reader. In addition, a vending machine sells USBs containing the entire ream of submissions at the cost price of £5.

In the Frame: Audio Descriptive Tour
Sat 29 Jun, 12–2pm. Free, with lunch and refreshments. Book via Eventbrite
Experienced visual describer and artist Juliana Capes will take you through detailed descriptions of Ryan Gander and Jonathan P. Watts’The Annotated Reader. Designed for people with visual impairments and hearing loss. Please note this event takes place in the lower gallery with step-free access. FM hearing loop available.

Supported by The RS MacDonald Charitable Trust


Every Thursday for the duration of the exhibition we launch a book, and invite each author, as well as local writers, curators and academics to respond to The Annotated Reader,adding another layer to its annotations. Conversations between texts emerge, different pages of the Reader come to the fore as these readings are presented within the installation.

Journalist Melanie Reid, whose memoir The World I Fell Out Of (Harper Collins) was published this year, in conversation with artist Andrew Gannon, exploring the interlacing of creativity and disability.

Rebecca Collins and Natalie Ferris (both Edinburgh College of Art) respond to the Reader with Sophia Yadong Hao, Principal Curator of Dundee’s Cooper Gallery introducing Of Other Spaces: Where Does Gesture Become Event? (Sternberg Press, 2019). Of Other Spaces is itself an annotation and reflection of an exhibition and event project that took place in 2016–17, reflective of the open dialogue of women artists’ collectives in the 1970s and 80s. We also remember artist Susan Hiller (1940–2019), contributor to both the Reader and to the Sternberg Press publication, and whose work was shown at the Fruitmarket in 1998, 2000 and 2011.

Poets Yu Yoyo and her translators A.K. Blakemore and David Haysom launch My Tenantless Body (Poetry Translation Centre, 2019), and Colin Herd (University of Glasgow) responds to translated text in The Annotated Reader. In partnership with the Poetry Translation Centre and Scottish Universities’ International Summer School.