Reading Group / Reading Capital

142 Chapel Street, Salford

Sept 2007 → Mar 2009

Established in collaboration with Duncan Hay, the Reading Group was set up in order for artists (or anyone else) to construct their own programme of fortnightly readings and discussions. During its initial run, texts were programmed and provided, but control of the syllabus was gradually handed over to participants, whereupon they were invited to suggest texts for the rest of the group to discuss. The group experimented with themes that lasted over a number of weeks, and also branched out into what became dubbed “Open Sessions,” which could include film screenings, walks, visits or activities that required a space and a critical peer group.

For its final season, the Reading Group dedicated itself to reading Karl Marx’s Capital Vol. 1 in conjunction with David Harvey’s online lectures. Harvey, a respected academic and writer, has been teaching open classes on the book for over 40 years, and the 2008 set of lectures given at the City University of New York had been filmed and made available on-line. The lectures were, and still are, accessible to all at anytime but the fortnightly sessions at The Salford Restoration Office’s premises on Chapel Street created a structured environment in which to read and discuss this pivotal text.