00:00
/
00:00
Visser, Lisa
Hyena Two
2009

The Hyena series layers a cosy craft aesthetic with defiant rage, desperation and self-deprecating humour. An applique image of two howling hyenas sits beside the text, “We must love each other or die.” This combination articulates a demand, or a threat, with what may be an odd pragmatism in relation to the wildness signified by the animal cries. The donor, Julian Higuerey Nunez who is also an artist and the late artist’s partner, writes this about the use of hyenas in the work: “Lisa’s fascination with the hyena as signifier came from the often rejected but strangely human-like way in which they behave. They are generally regarded if not as evil certainly as pests and undesirable, and yet they are very smart and social and vocal. This last part I believe is important as they we tend to think of hyenas as simultaneously laughing and crying. Lisa’s art from this time was very emotion driven and centered on the essentialized vocalization of emotion through language. Particularly that used broadly in culture. Both these quilts then have these universally aspiring ultimatums originating in a voice that reflects an ugly humanity, or an aspect of the self that one wouldn’t want as public.”

 
Visser, Lisa
Newmarket ON 1983–Toronto 2013
Hyena Two
2009
Quilted and appliqué cotton fabric
198.0 x 135.0 cm
Gift of friends and family of Lisa Visser, 2016
Q16-001.02

Subscribe to our “This Week at Agnes” e-newsletter to stay abreast of events, news and opportunities at the art museum.