Read me, Love me, Leave me explores different modes of reading through collaboration, humour, and storytelling. Invited guest artists, including Life of a Craphead, Katie Lyle & Shelby Wright, and Cotey Pope, respond to works that they have created, admire, find inspirational, or spark curiosity. In the spirit of open-mic, members of the public are also encouraged to participate by spontaneously signing up at the event to share their own readings. By activating a variety of printed matter through comedic prose and timing, readings illuminate the surrounding artwork and the multitude of ways in which we experience art.
Image Credit: Drawing by Karie Liao, adapted image by Ashley Lennox, G’day Mate, 2019. Courtesy of the artists.
Cotey Pope (born in Welland, ON, Canada; lives in Toronto, ON, Canada) is a multi-disciplinary artist, and performer. Her work addresses comedy and personal narrative in relation to sculpture, video and performance. Pope studied Sculpture and Installation at OCADU. Her thesis film The Cotey Show investigates the act of performing the self, while disrupting the filmic façade and critiquing the representation of the artist in popular culture. Her work has been shown at the Toronto International Film Festival, XPACE, Gallery 1313, LA Contemporary Archive, Art TO, and Life of a Craphead’s DOORED.
Katie Lyle (born in Victoria, BC, Canada, lives in Toronto, ON, Canada) and Shelby Wright (born and lives in Toronto, ON, Canada) have worked collaboratively since 2015. Together, their work spans visual art, performance, dance, creative writing and installation, addressing themes of cross-disciplinary translation, gesture, close observation and friendship. In 2018, they created A Room to Perform (2018), a work that explores how a structure might actively become part of a performance, letting its shape and form determine the way their movements were obscured and cropped. They continue to develop ideas around framing a performed work with the use of physical objects, props and also by introducing the camera to their work.
Life of a Craphead is the collaboration of Amy Lam (born in Hong Kong, China; lives in Toronto, ON, Canada)and Jon McCurley (born and lives in Toronto, ON, Canada). Their work spans performance art, film, and curation, full of humour as a form of empathy towards often troubling histories and present circumstances. Their most recent exhibition, Entertaining Every Second (2019),is centred on a research project about the American war in Vietnam. Other projects include King Edward VII Statue Floating Down the Don River (2017), where they dumped a life-size replica of a colonial statue into a Toronto river on a weekly basis for a month.
Karie Liao (born in Miri, Malaysia; lives in Toronto, ON, Canada) and Maxine Proctor (born in Marsden, SK, Canada; lives in Toronto, ON, Canada) are the founders and organizers of the Toronto Art Book Fair (TOABF). TOABF is a free public festival that celebrates and explores the breadth of printed matter. TOABF is dedicated to increasing the visibility, dissemination, appreciation, and understanding of the artists’ book and its contemporary manifestations within the visual arts field in Toronto and abroad.