"If we’re searching for a through-line in the festival, then maybe it comes down to the explorations of structures and communities – the lifeblood, the reality that runs under those larger concepts. Libby Norman’s Breaking Up with JK Rowling is exactly that – a sometimes-warm, sometimes-cynical exploration of fandom and maturity. They lie on a massage bed in the middle of an installation scattered with ripped up Harry Potter books, and a camera under the bed projects their squished face onto a screen as they monologue. It oscillates between archness and absolute sincerity, tracing a life punctuated by pirated Potter films and voracious after-school reading sessions, interspersed with strange, haunting interludes recounting sexual meetings. And then at the end, Norman sits up, face reddened, and we rip open their Potter books and we black out words on the page until we’ve made smut out of childhood treasures. It feels correct, not transgressive – playing with the way fandom is so often a gateway into sexuality and queerness is such a rich, layered idea that it feels perfectly natural."
Megan Vaughan - ‘All the art I experienced 1.11.18 to 8.11.18 (and how it made me feel)’
“I’d wanted to see Libby Norman’s work for ages, mainly because I find the phenomenon of fandom to be the most fascinating and joyful thing of all time, and this piece, Breaking Up With JK Rowling, captures all the heartache and disappointment that is felt when one of your faves becomes problematic. There’s a v funny and honest text – about the magic of escapism slash escapism of magic for a queer teenager – but it was the second half of this show that really made it. Libby opens up a conversation about Harry Potter, love, identity and liberal politics but does so in such a way that the show could really be over, with this an optional extra for the most dedicated. It makes me think of how documentary filmmakers keep the camera running after the end of an interview; Libby was getting to the real meat of their* ideas by inviting us to relax together and help them* tear apart their* old Harry Potter books, the memory of which had become tainted by Rowling’s centrist politics and her revisionist takes on her characters’ identities. As we tore apart pages and crossed out words, we could talk without the pressure of being In A Discussion.”