Howls & Whispers
Inside - Artists and Writers in Reading Prison, Featuring Patti Smith, Nan Goldin and Maxine Peake

Inside - Artists and Writers in Reading Prison, Featuring Patti Smith, Nan Goldin and Maxine Peake

For the first time in its history, Reading Prison will open to the public for a major new project running from 4th September – 30th October 2016. Leading artists, performers and writers including Patti Smith, Ralph Fiennes ,Maxine Peake, Ai Weiwei and more respond to the work of the prison’s most famous inmate Oscar Wilde. 

 Every Sunday at midday, one of the artists or writers will read 'De Profundis' at the prison chapel. The nearly 100-page love letter addressed to “Bosie,” or Lord Alfred Douglas, was written by Wilde during his second year at the Reading Gaol, where he experienced some of the most harrowing moments of his life.

New works made in response to the prison’s architecture and history by leading artists including Marlene Dumas, Robert Gober, Nan Goldin, Steve McQueen, Jean-Michel Pancin and Wolfgang Tillmans will be installed in the Victorian prison’s corridors, wings and cells. 

Plans and prints relating to The Separate System, late 19th century mug-shots of inmates, and work by Vija Celmins, Rita Donagh, Peter Dreher, Felix Gonzalez- Torres, Richad Hamilton, Roni Horn and Doris Salcedo will also be exhibited.

Writers from around the world – Ai Weiwei, Tahmima Anam, Anne Carson, Joe Dunthorne, Deborah Levy, Danny Morrison, Gillian Slovo, Binyavanga Wainaina and Jeanette Winterson – will compose letters from their own direct or imagined experience of a state-imposed separation from loved ones. Visitors will be able to listen to and read their letters in some of the cells of the prison.

Running from 4th September – 30th October 2016 at Reading Prison.

More info here





Inside - Artists and Writers in Reading Prison, Featuring Patti Smith, Nan Goldin and Maxine Peake Inside - Artists and Writers in Reading Prison, Featuring Patti Smith, Nan Goldin and Maxine Peake