Kitty Snaxxx messes with your perception

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By John Gemmell

While most art students are happy to have a job, any job, after receiving their degree. Katia Taylor is flying high with two exhibitions showing simultaneously in Toronto.

Aside from Running with the Devil: Photographs of Metalheads (with Esther Choi), Taylor’s showing The Untold Story of Kitty Snaxxx at the Bloor Cinema. All this just five months after graduating from Ryerson’s school of image arts.

Kitty Snaxxx is a documentary-style photo exhibit that chronicles the career of a Montreal-based B-movie director of the same name through film stills, movie posters, film footage, documents and photographs. It’s the story of her life – but it’s completely fabricated.

“It’s not a documentary although it appears that way,” says Taylor. Although she treads a fine line between truth and fiction, there is purpose behind Taylor’s work. She created Kitty Snaxxx as a spectacle to play with perception. “With documentary photography you’ve got certain elements of truth that you take for granted, and within the context you assume certain things,” says Taylor.

She researched documentary style by watching A&E’s Biography. Her show adopts the format she picked up from TV: what is shown, the way the story is told, and the way certain events are focused on. “But then what happens when you twist it? It kind of fucks it all up.”

Taylor approached the Bloor Cinema because she feels the exhibit is meant to be seen in a space of “living context.” she put together a proposal, an artist statement and a letter of intent. They called her the next day and said “When do you want to do it?” Her advice for young photographers is simple: “Get off your ass and do it. It’s really not hard to do.”

The Untold Story of Kitty Snaxxx shows until Sunday on the mezzanine level of the Bloor Cinema, 504 Bloor St. West.

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