Janice Kerbel
Speech! Fight!
Speech! Fight!
May 28–June 25, 2022

Janice Kerbel has been recognized internationally since the 1990s for work that inhabits existing languages and forms. Her most recent exhibition is comprised of two new performative works, Speech!, 2022, and Fight!, 2022. The work will be performed live in the gallery once a week for the duration of the exhibition.

distills the language and structure of symbolic oratory into a singular address delivered by an actor. Speeches from multiple contexts are fused to comprise a spoken, embodied form. Fight! transposes the physical language of unarmed combat into movement for a single performer. A fight between 12 people is compressed into a solo choreographed sequence performed by a dancer.

Recent forms of Kerbel’s practice have engaged synchronized swimming (Sink, 2018), music composition (DOUG, 2014), and theatre lighting (Kill the Workers, 2011), in addition to audio recordings and print. In Bank Job, 1999, Kerbel produced the plans to rob a London bank; the work was published as 15 Lombard St., 2000. In 2014, The Common Guild commissioned Doug, a musical composition of nine songs for six voices, for which Kerbel was nominated for the prestigious Turner Prize. In this cacophonous performance, the title’s fictional character experiences nine imagined catastrophes. Score, 2015, is a suite of silkscreen prints that considers ways of scoring music through typography instead of conventional, musical notation.

is performed by Colleen Wheeler with direction by Anita Rochon. Fight! is performed by Rachel Meyer; movement developed in collaboration with Rachel Meyer with support from Nathan Kay, Lorena Randi and Justine Chambers. Thanks to the Canada Council for the Arts and the Amant Foundation.

Janice Kerbel’s (b. 1969, Toronto; lives/works: London, England) solo exhibitions include The Common Guild, Glasgow (2018); Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, University of Toronto (2013); Arts Club of Chicago (2012); Chisenhale Gallery, London (2011); Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe (2011); Tate Britain, London (2010). Nick Silver Can’t Sleep was commissioned by Artangel in 2006 with BBC Radio 3 and was performed live at Tate Britain in 2007.

Kerbel’s work has been included in numerous group exhibitions including Liverpool Biennial (2018); Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (2017); Hamburger Kunsthalle (2017); V-A-C Foundation, Venice (2017); La Biennale de Montréal (2016); Fondazione Antonio Ratti, Como, Italy (2016); Tramway, Glasgow (2015); Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (2014); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2013); Project Arts Centre, Dublin (2012); Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne (2012); KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2010); and Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal (2006).

Kerbel received an MFA from Goldsmith’s College, University of London and a BFA from Emily Carr College of Art in Vancouver. Kerbel is currently Professor of Fine Art at Goldsmiths College. In 2010, she received an Award for Artists from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, London, UK and she was a nominee for the 2015 Turner Prize.

Documentation by Rachel Topham Photography.

Reviewed by Hadani Ditmars for the Art Newspaper