Following on from the success of Inside at Reading Prison, Reading International present a contemporary art exhibition about and for the Irish writer and dramatist Oscar Wilde, whose ideas and legend remain startlingly contemporary.
The exhibition is curated by leading art critics Michael Bracewell and Andrew Hunt. They have commissioned works from or selected works by significant artists including Miles Aldridge, Stephen Buckley, Donna Huddleston, Malcolm McLaren and Marc Camille Chaimowicz, whose installation for Oscar Wilde occupies the whole of the Museum’s Victorian Art Gallery. Other works are strategically placed throughout the museum galleries.
Combining the historical and the current, notions of the cult of the beautiful with the role of the critic, symbolist fantasy and the many-layered relationships between life, morality and art, The Critic as Artist aims to combine substantial homage with renewed interpretation of Wildean aesthetic theory. During the course of the exhibition there will be daily readings from Oscar Wilde’s writings and related activities around Reading.
The Irish writer is famously linked with the town, having been imprisoned at Reading Gaol between 1895 and 1897 for ‘acts of gross indecency’. Yet Wilde’s previous connections with Reading, predating his imprisonment, tell a more nuanced story. Before his conviction Wilde was a regular and popular visitor in Reading’s cultural circles, at a time when he was at the height of his fame.
For details see www.readinginternational.org