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AGO’s new artists-in-residence Life of a Craphead present retrospective of “all the work they will ever create”

TORONTO—Artist collective Life of a Craphead has joined the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) to shake things up as its newest artist-in-residence. Based in the AGO’s Weston Family Learning Centre, the 12-week residency will include a live evening of performance on Feb. 10, 2013 and a satirical exhibition — showcasing works from both the collective’s past and future — opening on March 27, 2013.

Blending humour and performance art in its practice, Life of a Craphead is a collaboration between Toronto artists Amy Lam and Jon McCurley. Established in 2006, the duo undertakes unique creations of performance art, comedy, theatre and video projects.

Life of a Craphead, with help from the AGO Youth Council, is currently assembling photographic evidence of its future artworks — pieces the artists playfully envision creating together over the course of several decades to come — in preparation for the opening of a fictitious 50-year retrospective on March 27, 2013. This satirical exhibition will be presented in the AGO’s Weston Family Community Gallery. It is free to the public and issues a humourous challenge to the artistic authority of museums as well as to common ideas of artistic achievement.

“It’s very exciting to have the members of Life of a Craphead join us at the AGO to showcase all the work they will ever create,” said Kelly McKinley, Executive Director, Education & Public Programming. “Amy and Jon investigate the artistic authority of art institutions with humour and intelligence. We’re delighted to share our space with them over the coming months and to see what they can tell us about ourselves.”

“We’re often asked if this retrospective is real,” said Life of a Craphead. “Well, it definitely takes all our money and a lot of time. Is this retrospective real? It isn’t fake.”

On Feb. 10, 2013 at 8:30 p.m. Life of a Craphead brings its popular monthly performance series Doored to the AGO’s Dr. Anne Tanenbaum Gallery School. Launched in 2012, Doored features exciting new work from established and emerging performance artists and comedians in Toronto. Designed to explore the idea of performance as artistic practice, this month’s edition includes artists Bridget Moser, CN Tower Liquidation, Fake Injury Party, Glenn Macaulay, Man Made Hill, Nikki Woolsey, Zoe Solomon and many more. Tickets are $5 for the public and $4.50 for AGO members, and can be purchased in advance at or at the door.

The AGO’s Artist-in-Residence Program, the first of its kind at a major Canadian art museum, hosts as many as six artists each year. Since the AGO launched its artist-in-residence program in fall 2011, it has welcomed local and international artists to its dedicated studio space in the newly built Weston Family Learning Centre.

The 2012-2013 Artist-in-Residence Program at the AGO is generously supported by the J. P. Bickell Foundation.

For more information about the program, please visit


Feb.10, 2013
8:30 p.m.
Dr. Anne Tanenbaum Gallery School
Art Gallery of Ontario
Public $5 | AGO Members $4.50

Artist-in-residence Life of a Craphead presents Doored, a monthly showcase of music, comedy, art and live performance in the AGO’s Dr. Anne Tanenbaum Gallery School. The February edition features performers Bridget Moser, Cameron Lee, CN Tower Liquidation, Daniel Goodbaum, Fake Injury Party, Glenn Macaulay, Laura McCoy, Lisa Smolkin, Neil LaPierre, David Tallis, Man Made Hill, Nikki Woolsey and Zoe Solomon. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

Meet the Artists: Life of a Craphead
March 27, 2013
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. 
Weston Family Community Gallery 
Art Gallery of Ontario

Join the AGO’s artist-in-residence Life of a Craphead for the opening of Life of a Craphead Retrospective, a satirical look at all the work they will ever make. Charting the next 50 years of projected artistic output through photos and interpretive materials, this retrospective exhibition will fill the AGO’s Weston Family Community Gallery until May 5, 2013.

Life of a Craphead is the collaborative vehicle of artists Amy Lam and Jon McCurley, whose practice comprises performance, comedy, theatre and video. Established in 2006, their projects include transporting two psychopaths in a cage on the back of a truck, touring a live comedy show, giving away everything on a restaurant’s menu, and building a three-story maze. Their first feature-length film, Bugs, is currently in post-production. Life of a Craphead has presented work at The Power Plant, Toronto; Gallery TPW, Toronto; Hotel MariaKapel, Hoorn, The Netherlands; Department of Safety, Anacortes, U.S.; and the Banff Centre, Banff, as well as at numerous comedy venues and music shows across Canada and the United States. Amy Lam and Jon McCurley live and work in Toronto and collaborate frequently with other artists and performers.

With a collection of more than 80,000 works of art, the Art Gallery of Ontario is among the most distinguished art museums in North America. From the vast body of Group of Seven and signature Canadian works to the African art gallery, from the cutting-edge contemporary art to Peter Paul Rubens’ masterpiece The Massacre of The Innocents, the AGO offers an incredible art experience with each visit. In 2002 Kenneth Thomson’s generous gift of 2,000 remarkable works of Canadian and European art inspired Transformation AGO, an innovative architectural expansion by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry that in 2008 resulted in one of the most critically acclaimed architectural achievements in North America. Highlights include Galleria Italia, a gleaming showcase of wood and glass running the length of an entire city block, and the often-photographed spiral staircase, beckoning visitors to explore. The AGO has an active membership program offering great value, and the AGO’s Weston Family Learning Centre offers engaging art and creative programs for children, families, youth and adults. Visit to find out more about upcoming special exhibitions, to learn about eating and shopping at the AGO, to register for programs and to buy tickets or memberships.

March 16–June16, 2013: Revealing the Early Renaissance: Stories and Secrets in Florentine Art

Aug. 17–Oct. 27, 2013: Ai Weiwei: According to What?

The AGO is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Additional operating support is received from the City of Toronto, the Canada Council for the Arts and generous contributions from AGO members, donors and private-sector partners.


For more information on Life of a Craphead please contact:

Andrea-Jo Wilson; News Officer, AGO Communications
416-979-6660, ext. 403,

Laura Banks; News Officer, AGO Communications
416-979-6660, ext. 504,

Caitlin Coull; Manager, AGO Communications
416-979-6660, ext. 364,


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