Goodman Gallery Cape is proud to present Third World Disorder, a new exhibition by acclaimed South African artist Kendell Geers.
A provocative figure in the South African art world since the 1990s, Kendell Geers is known for work that stakes out a radical position from which to take aim at both the art establishment and society in general, to interrogate our existing moral codes and to suggest new approaches. Working in a wide variety of media, he uses and subverts familiar signs from art history and pop culture. Famously pissing into Duchamp’s urinal in Venice, he rejects the sanctity of ‘the canon’ and the inviolability of history, insisting on a position that poses its own questions and comes to its own conclusions.
Geers’ work, site-specific by nature, is designed to force a physical confrontation with the viewer, and is concerned with power, its relations, and the manner in which it shapes our experiences. Often described as interventions, the relentless physicality of his work acts to shock and disrupt our perception of the status quo – to map the degree to which individual agency is constrained by the existing establishment, and to attempt to explode those borders.
Third World Disorder consists of a combination of installations and sculptural elements, a collection of stark objects focusing on notions of violence and the debris of a dysfunctional society. The works come together to form a landscape scarred by the effects of violence and littered with its remnants. But they are also monuments – simultaneously an ambivalent valorization of the means deployed by power in its own defense, and a eulogy for a world order on the brink of destruction.
Kendell Geers lives and works in Belgium. His work has been shown in numerous international group exhibitions, including the African Pavilion at the 52nd Venice Biennale (2007) and Documenta 11 in Kassel, Germany (2002) . Recent solo shows include Heart of Darkness at the South African National Gallery in Cape Town (1993), The Prodigal Son at Goodman Gallery Johannesburg (2003), and A Guest + A Host = A Ghost at Stephen Friedman Gallery in London (2009) . His touring exhibition Irrespektiv travelled to Newcastle, Gent, Salamanca, Lyon and Turin in 2007 and 2008.
South African-born, Belgian artist Kendell Geers changed his date of birth to May 1968 in order to give birth to himself as a work of art. Describing himself as an ‘AniMystikAKtivist’, Geers takes a syncretic approach to art that weaves together diverse Afro-European traditions, including animism, alchemy, mysticism, ritual and a socio-political activism laced with black humour, irony and cultural contradiction.
Geers’s work has been shown in numerous international group exhibitions, including the Venice Biennale (2007) and Documenta (2002). Major solo shows include Heart of Darkness at Iziko South African National Gallery in Cape Town (1993), Third World Disorder at Goodman Gallery Cape Town (2010) and more recently Songs of Innocence and of Experience at Goodman Gallery Johannesburg (2012). His exhibition Irrespektiv travelled to Newcastle, Ghent, Salamanca and Lyon between 2007 and 2009. Geers was included on Art Unlimited at Art 42 Basel in 2011. Work by Geers was included on Manifesta 9 in Genk, Limburg, Belgium and a major survey show of his work was exhibited at Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany in 2013. Earlier this year Geers held a solo exhibition, The Second Coming (Do What Thou Wilt), at Rua Red in Dublin.