Longlisted for the 2018 Toronto Book Awards
In October 2012, lovers William Ellis and Jordan Tannahill moved into a former barbershop in Toronto's Kensington Market neighbourhood and turned it into an art space called Videofag. Over the next four years Videofag became a hub for counterculture in the city, playing host to a litany of performances, screenings, parties, exhibitions, and all manner of queer fuckery. But hosting a city in their house took its toll and eventually William and Jordan broke up, closing the space for good in June 2016.
The Videofag Book is a chronicle of those four years told through multiple voices and mediums: a personal history by William and Jordan; a love letter by Jon Davies; a communal oral history compiled by Chandler Levack; a play by Greg MacArthur; a poem by Aisha Sasha John; a chronological history of Videofag's programming; and a photo archive curated by William and Jordan in full colour.
Praise for Videofag:
"Videofag was a busy nexus of performance and art, a focal point for a wide assortment of communities, including the queer art scene, underground film culture, comedy, and theatre. " --Torontoist
"The queer arts hub [known as Videofag] has served as the incubator for countless projects and artists over its life, becoming a critical meeting point for creators from around the city and across the country. " --Daily Xtra
Jordan Tannahill is a playwright, director, and author. In 2016, he was described by the Toronto Star as being ‘widely celebrated as one of Canada’s most accomplished young playwrights, filmmakers, and all-round multidisciplinary artists.’ His plays have been translated into multiple languages and honoured with a number of prizes including the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama and several Dora Mavor Moore Awards. Jordan’s films and multimedia performances have been presented at festivals and galleries such as the Toronto International Film Festival, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the Tribeca Film Festival. From 2012 to 2016, Jordan and William Ellis ran the influential underground art space Videofag out of their home in Toronto’s Kensington Market. In 2017, his play Late Company transferred to London’s West End while his virtual reality performance Draw Me Close, a co-production between the National Theatre (UK) and the National Film Board of Canada, premiered at the Venice Biennale. Jordan’s work in dance includes collaborations with Christopher House and Akram Khan. His debut novel, Liminal, was published by House of Anansi Press in January 2018.
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