Lisa Brice, in her
The catalogue will be
Pieldikte (Pay or Die/
Prisoner No 466/64 1997
Jet Master Couple 1997
Suburban Heroes 1 1996
Death Threat 1995
Homemaking 2 1995
Too Close for Comfort 1994
Sex Kitten - Pussy Alive 1993
The bold, strongly crafted images of Lisa Brice seem iconic and almost familiar, yet invariably a closer examination of the surfaces and details reveal a strange and disturbing undertone to the work. Drawing on cheap illustrations from everyday sources like the Yellow Pages, a roadside poster stand, or a security firm leaflet dropped through the letter box, Brice subverts and adds to these to present a confrontational and alternative reading of the original.
"My work is my means of communication - a reflection of my take on my environment, life history and society. Through a layering of ideas and cross-references, I juxtapose images of existing situations with found objects to suggest a new idea or scenario. The concept dictates the materials, medium and format that I will use."
In the middle of January, a sumptuous 228-page catalogue - in English, German and Chinese - of Brice's work, published by Galerie Frank Hänel, will be launched at the opening of her exhibition at the Hänel Gallery in Cape Town. Brice has been been showing through the Frankfurt-based Hänel Gallery ever since the gallerists bought her entire first post-graduate show at the Irma Stern Museum in Cape Town in 1992, introducing her to a German audience which has followed her career ever since. For a relatively young artist, Brice has produced an enormous body of work, covering such areas as the double moral standards that allow bar girls and sex workers to be degraded, domestic violence, crime in the suburbs and, most recently, gang violence. Her work is assured, provocative and immaculately finished in materials which are more likely to come from cheap furnishing stores than art supply houses.
Brice has just completed a residency at the Gasworks studio complex in London, and earlier last year was one of the six finalists for the 1998 Vita Art Prize.
And before that:
In 1997, Brice was one of nine artists to participate in 'Thirty Minutes', a series of installations in the Visitors' Block on Robben Island. For her piece, Prisoner No 466/64, installed behind a small glass window through which a visitor might view a prisoner, Brice took two photos of Nelson Mandela to the police department that constructs identikits, one taken in 1961, the year of his imprisonment, the other 27 years later, after his release. The police were asked to reconstruct the intervening years, and the resulting images revolved slowly past the window, viewed through layers of stacked green glass.
In April 1999, Brice has been invited to participate in the 'Big River' workshop in Trinidad and Tobago, which will involve 11 international and 11 local artists. Another participant will be Turner Prize winner Chris Ofili. A three-week exhibition of the work produced will follow, to be held at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Port O'Spain, Trinidad.
In the same month, Brice's catalogue launch and solo show will be held at Galerie Frank Hänel in Frankfurt, and Brice will also be showing on Art Frankfurt.
1968 Born in Cape Town, South Africa
The launch of Lisa Brice's catalogue will take place on Sunday, January 17, at 6pm at the Hänel Gallery, 84 Shortmarket Street. On that night only, the catalogue will be sold for R99,95. Thereafter the catalogue will be available at R150 at the Hänel, or R180 in selected bookstores. A special edition of multiples to accompany the catalogue will be on view. These will be sold only with the catalogue, and on Sunday night, a catalogue and print will cost R450.