Ruth Skinner






Inside a dog it's too dark to read

Photograph by Mike Jordan from dog in swimming pool (Edna Press)

A reading event at Good Press (Glasgow) featuring artists Graeme Arnfield, Taylor Doyle, Rosie Roberts and Josh Thorpe. All four contributors were invited to read and respond to dog in swimming pool, an artists' book by Edna Press that pays playful homage to photo narratives of the 1960s and 1970s. In the interest of seeing where individual acts of looking, captioning, and reading might lead, the parameters of participation were left open to each contributor. Topics ranged across dogs, companionship, Marxism, arts economies, accessibility and emotional labour within artistic education, and publishing for communities.

The title for this event comes from Groucho Marx: "Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." This quote was the namesake for the 2003 exhibition, "Outside of a Dog: Paperbacks & Other Books By Artists," guest curated by Clive Phillpot for Baltic, The Centre for Contemporary Art. The two events are not affiliated, but I had been spending a lot of time at the Baltic, reading.