The Annotated Reader

curated by Ryan Gander and Jonathan P. Watts  November 1, 2019 - January 11, 2020

On Friday November 1 2019 at 18:00 pm, on the occasion of Artissima, Quartz Studio is delighted to present for the first time in Italy, The Annotated Readera publication-as-exhibition and exhibition-as-publication featuring 281 creative and personal responses on a chosen piece of writing. Ryan Gander and Jonathan P. Watts invited a range of people, encompassing contemporary artists, designers, writers, institutional founders, musicians and so on – to imagine they’ve missed the last train. “Is there one piece of writing that you would want with you for company in the small hours?” With this in mind, Gander and Watts asked people to submit a text with personal annotations and notes made directly onto it. With over 200 contributions collected across a range of subjects, including Marina Abramović, Art & Language, Paul Clinton, Tom Godfrey, Ragnar Kjartansson, Sarah Lucas, Alistair Hudson and Hans Ulrich Obrist, the annotation adds a further layer making each piece unique and a historic record of our current times.

 As a non-profit project, the mission was to create an free and accessible educational resource that can be used as both a teaching aid for future generations alongside being an archive that captures personal mementos and unique perspectives from a variety of contributors that are at the forefront of our contemporary society. Some texts transform thinking, some texts are a mantra one relies on, others bring out significant passions and interests relating to a multitude of genres and subjects. Like Harrison and Wood’s Art in Theory 1900-2000 or Stewart Brand’s Whole Earth Catalogue (‘Stay Hungry Stay Foolish’), in totality The Annotated Reader will be a curriculum, an index and an ethics.  

As part of the exhibition, each of the contributions are printed in a run of 100 and exhibited as stacks hanging from the walls. Visitors to the exhibition are able to compile their own ‘ANNOTATED READER. In addition, a vending machine distributes USBs’ containing the entire ream of submissions at the cost price of 5 euro, with the ability to either be printed or read digitally.

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