The Annotated Reader | The Naming of Things

22 August 2021 — 3 October 2021

The Naming of Things: a group exhibition curated by Castlefield Gallery Associate Bryony Dawson

The Annotated Reader: A publication-as-exhibition and exhibition-as-publication conceived by Ryan Gander and Jonathan P. Watts

Originally planned to be exhibited at the gallery in May 2020, due to Covid 19 they have been rescheduled for 2021. 

To mark the occasion of what would have been their public preview our curator Matthew Pendergast invited Bryony and Ryan to share some questions and thoughts with each other for a podcast available HERE.
You can also listen to it on Spotify


The Naming of Things features the work of: Sriwhana Spong, Lydia Davies, Jeanne Constantin, Sarah Tripp, James McAleer and Bryony Dawson, Charlie Godet Thomas and Jessica Higgins. 

Language has always been in a state of flux, but the acceleration of change led by new media platforms and formats dramatically changes the way that language is written, read and understood. The artists chosen for this exhibition embrace this unreliability by using and mis-using language as a way to imagine architectural spaces and alternative viewpoints. With works involving text, audio, sculpture and film they explore the semiotic relationships between images, sounds and words. 

The Naming of Things was selected from proposals submitted by Castlefield Gallery Associates by guest selector Ryan Gander and Castlefield Gallery Curator Matthew Pendergast. 

The Annotated Reader 

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. 

With almost 300 contributors including Marina Abramović, Art & Language, Paul Clinton, Tom Godfrey, Ragnar Kjartansson, Sarah Lucas, Alistair Hudson and Hans Ulrich Obrist it forms 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