Janice Kerbel works in a wide range of media, including light, audio, texts, publications and print. Her meticulously constructed work has taken the form of plans, proposals, recordings, scripts and announcements for impossible or imagined scenarios.

The artist’s 2007 print-based work ‘Remarkable’ (shown at Frieze Art Fair that year) announced ‘a range of extraordinary characters imagined in response to the context of the fair.’ Produced in the format of large-scale silkscreen posters, and using a digitally modified process of nineteenth-century letterpress reminiscent of printed broadsides and fairground ephemera, these works were fly-posted on a daily basis around the venue. ‘Remarkable’ exemplifies Kerbel’s ongoing interest in the relationship between text and image; reality and illusion. For her 2011 exhibition ‘Kill the Workers’ Kerbel wrote a play for lights. Using the language of theatrical lighting and a traditional lighting rig employing 36 lanterns, a dramatic narrative unfolded in which a single spotlight became the key protagonist as it struggled to be seen as light alone. Kerbel’s 2014 project ‘DOUG’ is a musical composition for unaccompanied voice that chronicled a continuous stream of catastrophic events endured by a single individual.

Janice Kerbel (born Toronto, Canada, 1969) studied at Emily Carr College of Art and Design, Vancouver, and Goldsmith’s College, London. She lives and works in London. Recent solo exhibitions include ‘See it Now’, Tate Britain (2010), ‘Kill the Workers’, Chisenhale Gallery, London, Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsrue (both 2011); Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff (2012); Arts Club of Chicago (2012); and Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, University of Toronto.

Catriona Jeffries




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