Tel-Talk – Paola Poletto, Liis Toliao and Yvonne Koscielak

ISBN 9781926639499
Pub date: 2012

The Tel-talk project brings together artists of varying backgrounds, from across the country, to perform in and or animate a telephone booth in response to themes surrounding public spaces, and the disappearance of traditional phone booths. Artists and writers were
invited to contribute a site-specific installation, artwork, or short work of fiction, which references a unique telephone booth location. The installations began in September 2011 and continue through to July 2012. Over the last nine months, each installation was announced and documented on the Tel-talk blog (

The Tel-talk project culminates in an exhibition of various works and photo documentations at the Telephone Booth Gallery in Toronto’s Junction neighbourhood along with a book launch which outlines contributions to the project in (phone) book form under the Tightrope Books imprint. The project continues online with an open invitation to artists and writers to make their own art interventions.

Selected artists and writers (Tel-talkers) include: Barry Callaghan, Dyan Marie, Julie Voyce, Lizz Aston, Jessica Westhead, Otino Corsano, Tim Laurin, Sheila Butler, Steven Tippin, Stuart Keeler, Tara Cooper, Terry O’Neill and many more. Full list of participants and online:

About the Editors

Paola Poletto is an artist, writer and arts administrator. She is co-editor of Boredom Fighters! (Tightrope Books, 2008), Ourtopias: Cities and the Role of Design (Riverside Architectural Press, 2008); and co-founder/editor of Kiss Machine (2000-5), which included a girls and guns issue with traveling exhibition to artist run centres in Eastern Europe. In 2009, Paola was guest curator of fashion no-no (Queens Quay Gallery, Harbourfront Centre). She has also held curatorial and programming positions at Toronto’s Italian Cultural Institute (1993-98), Design Exchange (2000-2008) and the City of Mississauga’s Culture Division (2008-).

Liis Toliao burned a Barbie doll in her first short film, which she presented as part of a larger performance piece at the age of 16.  She has since been many things including, but not limited to: l’m editor, construction worker, administrator, fashion merchandiser, photographer, Sunday driver, graphic designer, fairweather optimist and occasional daydreamer.  Tel-talk represents her first foray into curation and programming. When speaking about Tel-talk she says: “I’m interested in finding the awe and wonder in simple moments and common-place objects.  Through this project, I hope people re-discover the telephone booth. They’re beautiful spaces.

Yvonne Koscielak is an art advisor, cultural worker and creative producer. She received her Master’s in Art Business from the Sotheby’s Institute – New York, and her HBA from the University of Toronto, and has held curatorial and consulting positions throughout New York and Toronto where her brief included acquisition and de-accession of many notable corporate and private art collections. Yvonne specializes in Modern and Contemporary art and can regularly be found spending the afternoon at a local art gallery or cashing in her travel points to avoid missing the latest art fair or museum exhibition.