Evolving out of his previous work on pedagogical structures and the acquisition of knowledge, Reading Karl Marx is based upon Rainer Ganahl’s organisation of reading seminars as a platform for the discussion of issues and ideas. Often seen as an extra-artistic activity the notion of reading and discussion is used by Ganahl as a means to question artistic practice as a form of knowledge production.
Reading Karl Marx questions the supposed centrality of the artists’ function, as Ganahl becomes a member of the discussion group thereby destabilising his role. The publication itself is generated by his reading seminars on Marx in various educational institutions throughout Europe and the UK. Alongside documentary photographs of the seminars, a discussion between the artist and Craig Martin, the editor of the book, situates the practice amidst the wider cultural and social sphere.