The Tetley


3 FEBRUARY - 23 APRIL 2017

These books were alive; they spoke to me! is an exhibition of printed matter and performance works by Barcelona based artist Dora García. Her first institutional solo show in the UK, this exhibition will also coincide with the 20th annual Leeds International Contemporary Artists’ Book Fair taking place at The Tetley in March 2017.

García’s show will provide a retrospective look at her career-long production of book editions, book sculptures, and other printed matter, and the ongoing connection within her practice to the broader tropes of popular literature, theatre and film. For These books were alive; they spoke to me!, García will stage a new iteration of several ongoing performance works stemming from texts written by the artist, by others following the protocols given by the artist, or utilising and responding to iconic literary texts such as James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake.

‘These books were alive; they spoke to me,’ is a quote from François Truffaut’s 1966 dystopic cult film Fahrenheit 451 (based on Ray Bradbury’s novel of the same name). This literary reference opens up a framework for the exhibition and expanded programme, which features books about performance, and performances about books.


From Monday 6 February – Sunday 23 April
Ongoing performances daily 11am to 3pm
Every Saturday at 3pm Performance
Every Wednesday 11am – 3pm & 5pm – 7pm.

Special Thanks
The Tetley & Dora García would like to give a special thanks to Leeds Finnegans Wake Reading Group, Michelangelo Miccolis, Moritz Küng and all our volunteer performers: Molly Beatrice Higgins, Clare Jones, Lauren De Sa Naylor, Paul Walsh, Georgia Taylor Aguilar, Sian Hulley, Zejun Yao, Rachel Juliana Markies, Kate Hodgson, Annabel Crossley, Nicole Murmann, Luke Perrell-Williams, James Brewer, Aimee Elana Conroym, Gordon B Ward, Ruth Williamson, Mike Hood, Chris Blanchard, Courtney Oliver, Andrew Lane, Harrison Hirst, Belal Ansari, Kashka Arnell, Alabama Boatman, Morgan Buswell, Joseph Callaghan, Molly Ellis, Bethany England, Fiona Lam, Anna McDonald, Louisa Partridge, Corinne Paul, Zachary Harvey-Wright, Anna Thrussell.



Finnegans Wake Reading
Friday 24 February, 5-6.30pm
Friday 10 March, 5-6:30pm

Join artist Dora García and the Leeds’ Finnegans Wake Reading Group for a collective reading of James Joyce’s classic. Please email to reserve a place. No special skills needed other than a love for this text. If you need to borrow a copy of the text, please let our reception team know in advance.

Wednesday Lates: Curators Talk

Wednesday 22 February, from 6pm.

Join the curator of Dora García: These Books Were Alive; They Spoke to Me! and the co-curators of PAGES Future/Present for an informal discussion of the current exhibitions on display in The Tetley’s galleries.

The event is free but please book here to guarantee your spot.

Wednesday Lates: David Steans – Crime World

Wednesday 29 March, 6-8pm. Free, all welcome Visitor discretion is advised.

Responding to Dora García’s exhibition of performance and books, artist David Steans presents and evening of new art works inspired by the controversial 1990’s publishing press Crime World. Please note, visitor discretion is advised.

Get Involved

Follow the exhibition online using #TheseBooksWereAlive
Twitter: @The_Tetley
Facebook: /TheTetleyLeeds
Instagram: @TheTetley