Kendell Geers 1988 — 2012
Exhibition 01.02 – 12.05.13
Kendell Geers, born in 1968 in South Africa, uses various media such as installation, drawing, video, performance, and photography. He gained international recognition through his participation in Documenta 11 (2002) and his active global exhibition activity.
His life and work can be divided into two decade-long periods whose trajectories and developments are explored in this exhibition. The first political phase runs from 1988 to 2000, during which time the artist, a white South African, explored the moral and ethical contradictions of the apartheid system through his practice. Geers developed a visual vocabulary characterized by provocation as well as humor by using found objects such as barbed wire or glass shards. By appropriating historical events and ideas, he focused on questions of relationship between individual and society. It was in this context that Geers changed his date of birth to May 1968, the start of the student and civil revolution, and joined every political party in the period before South Africa’s first democratic elections, from the extreme right-wing to the Communist party. In this way, he expressed his doubts about the fetishization of party politics.
Initiated by his move to Brussels in 2000, his later European period is now characterized by a more poetic aesthetic. Here, Geers transferred his incendiary practice into a postcolonial and increasingly global context, suggesting more universal themes like terrorism, spirituality, and mortality. As such, the artist’s life and work can be said to constitute a living archive comprised of political events, photographs, letters, and literary texts that serve as a source of inspiration and represent a continuation of his oeuvre.
The exhibition has been generously supported by Galleria Continua, San Gimignano / Beijing / Le Moulin; Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg / Cape Town; Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels; Stephen Friedman Gallery, London.
Staff members answer your questions about the exhibition:
Sa 12 — 5 pm / Su 12 — 5 pm
Stretch your view
Stretch your view
On the Aesthetic and Political Language of Art
On the Aesthetic and Political Language of Art: A Conversation between Kendell Geers and William Kentridge, moderated by Okwui Enwezor, director of Haus der Kunst MORE
Tour of the exhibition "Kendell Geers 1988 — 2012"
In a tour of the exhibition, Kendell Geers and the show's curator, Clive Kellner, present selected works. MORE
Clive Kellner: Kendell Geers 1988 — 2012
Clive Kellner, curator of the exhibition, gives an overview of Kendell Geers' work from 1988 to 2012. MORE
"Soweto Uprising" – Readymade and photographs
Kendell Geers' readymade "Untitled, 1976" is a mortuary register listing the name of a young boy who was killed during the Soweto Uprising – an event captured also in numerous photographs in the exhibition "Rise and Fall of Apartheid". MORE
Exhibition program on video
A video containing brief visual descriptions of current exhibitions. MORE
William Kentridge: Tide table
"Tide Table" is one of ten films by South African artist William Kentridge that "Rise and Fall of Apartheid" shows in its own cinema. MORE