Kendell Geers / AniMystikAktivist / 2014

About

Following on from solo exhibitions at Yvon Lambert in Paris and Stephen Friedman in London earlier this year, the Goodman Gallery Cape Town is proud to present a solo exhibition by the legendary artist Kendell Geers.
Titled AniMystikAKtivist the exhibition recalls the activism of the young South African artist making his name in a full frontal attack against the conservatism of the Apartheid institutions, but now fully developed into a transnational spiritual dimension. Once dubbed the “Enfant Terrible” of South African art, Geers has since matured into an artist with a profound understanding of indigenous Shamanic practices that he uses as part of his creative process.
No less a socio-political activist, no less engaged with the context of his time, Geers has added the metaphysical dimension, insisting that without spirit art is simply a worthless decoration.
Weaving together the socio-political, activist, mystical and animistic traditions, Geers creates works of art that are talismanic and totemic in nature. The work of art radiates transformative energy through the use of sign, sigil and symbol. AniMystikAKtivist is a meditation on the role of language in sculpting our perceptions of the world we live in.
The contradiction between our thoughts and how they are eventually expressed as words provides the foundation for the exhibition. New works of art are mixed with older works, all of which are distilled from the process of the word being made flesh.
Every work on the exhibition is a text in one form or another, from the absence of letters in the Mutus Libver or Mute Book to works of art that exist entirely in written form. The centrepiece of the exhibition invites the visitor into a mystical experience in which the word itself is the work of art that transforms understanding through an initiatory process. Once exposed to the verbal virus of his art there is no going back.
Geers’ work is at once quintessentially African and yet embedded in the European tradition. Animist African practices are woven into European alchemical processes through the prism of contemporary art.
Ritualised Congo Nkisi nail fetish figures are painted over with the white primer of colonial practice. They bleed out the silent tears of words unwritten in black ink, the Mute Books of the continent’s colonial past.
The oral tradition of Africa mourns and weeps as
knowledge. The once proud African icons stand proud in resistance with their arms outraised, protesting in the name of art.
In poetic contrast, the burned wooden shards of recycled dead trees are inlaid with perspex mirrors that have been cut into letters and words that reflect back upon us our own act of looking.
They are not just any words, but the profane four letter word, the basic words of love, hate, fear, fate and so forth. Geers explains that the plastic mirror is a by-product of the oil manufacturing industry, a stark reminder of the price that nature has to pay to support our lifestyles built around the fossil fuel industry.
Merging tradition with design, the African with transcendental, the Fante Asafo traditional flags from Ghana are reworked into post nationalist symbols of identity.
The journey of the individual is mapped out in words and letters from the first breath unto death, through defeat and the sweat of creation in the theatre of life.
The journey of constructing our individual identity is symbolised by the black pirate flag of radical subjectivity marked out by the simple act of needing to eat in order to exist.
The theme of the disenfranchised individual up against the political wall of social control is a recurring theme in Geers’ work. Recoiling against the mindless acceptance of social habit and generalised advertorial experience, Geers flips the pyramids of power to ennoble the individual.
The self is reconfigured as king, every individual as royal and the noble self is heralded as a subjective protest against the loss of individuality in an all-consuming global mass. In a series of watercolours, the self is recognised through the act of doing. Descartes’ maxim, “I think therefore I am” is embodied through the act of thinking about art itself, but not at the exclusion of other acts.
The act of doing supersedes that of thinking and the body is celebrated as it walks, talks, drinks, smokes, takes, makes, breaks and fucks.
The act of thinking is transformed into doing and liberates itself from being a mere verb into a royal charge that becomes verbal only to be written up and through contemplation expands reading into the proverbial. According to Geers “I am a king therefore I do!”

  • Four Letter Brand (Fuck) 1

    Kendell Geers

    Four Letter Brand (Fuck) 1, 2009/2014

    Plexiglass mirror and charred wood

    160.5 x 110.5cm

  • Four Letter Brand (Fate) 1

    Kendell Geers

    Four Letter Brand (Fate) 1, 2009/2014

    Plexiglass mirror and charred wood

    160.5 x 110.5cm

  • Four Letter Brand (Life) 1

    Kendell Geers

    Four Letter Brand (Life) 1, 2009/2014

    Plexiglass mirror and charred wood

    160.5 x 110.5cm

  • Four Letter Brand (Evil) 1

    Kendell Geers

    Four Letter Brand (Evil) 1, 2009/2014

    Plexiglass mirror and charred wood

    110.5 x 77cm

  • Four Letter Brand  (Take) 1

    Kendell Geers

    Four Letter Brand (Take) 1, 2009/2014

    Plexiglass mirror and charred wood

    110.5 x 77cm

  • Four Letter Brand  (Gift) 1

    Kendell Geers

    Four Letter Brand (Gift) 1, 2009/2014

    Plexiglass mirror and charred wood

    110.5 x 77cm

  • Four Letter Brand (Fire) 1

    Kendell Geers

    Four Letter Brand (Fire) 1, 2009/2014

    Plexiglass mirror and charred wood

    110.5 x 77cm

  • Four Letter Brand (Give) 1

    Kendell Geers

    Four Letter Brand (Give) 1, 2009/2014

    Plexiglass mirror and charred wood

    110.5 x 77cm

  • Age of iron XVIII

    Kendell Geers

    Age of iron XVIII, 2012

    Rust on paper

    102 x 66 cm

  • Age of Iron XIX

    Kendell Geers

    Age of Iron XIX, 2012

    Rust on paper

    102 x 66 cm

  • Age of Iron XXI

    Kendell Geers

    Age of Iron XXI, 2012

    Rust on paper

    102 x 65 cm

  • Age of Iron XXII

    Kendell Geers

    Age of Iron XXII, 2012

    Rust on paper

    102 x 65.5

  • Mutus-Liber-(Fetish) 12

    Kendell Geers

    Mutus-Liber-(Fetish) 12, 2009

    resin and paint on found object

    60 X 20 X 20cm

  • Mutus-Liber-(Fetish)-23

    Kendell Geers

    Mutus-Liber-(Fetish)-23, 2009

    resin and paint on found object

    69 X 25 X 28cm

  • Mutus-Liber-(Fetish)-96

    Kendell Geers

    Mutus-Liber-(Fetish)-96, 2009

    resin and paint on found object

    83 X 27 X 37cm

  • A Kings Ransom (JoKing)

    Kendell Geers

    A Kings Ransom (JoKing), 2014

    Aquarelle drawing

    46 x 61 cm

  • A Kings Ransom (FucKing)

    Kendell Geers

    A Kings Ransom (FucKing), 2014

    Aquarelle drawing

    46 x 61 cm

  • A Kings Ransom (FreeKing)

    Kendell Geers

    A Kings Ransom (FreeKing), 2014

    Aquarelle drawing

    46 x 61 cm

  • A Kings Ransom (FaKing)

    Kendell Geers

    A Kings Ransom (FaKing), 2014

    Aquarelle drawings

    46 x 61 cm

  • A Kings Ransom (WalKing)

    Kendell Geers

    A Kings Ransom (WalKing), 2014

    Aquarelle drawing

    46 x 61 cm

  • A Kings Ransom (TricKing)

    Kendell Geers

    A Kings Ransom (TricKing), 2014

    Aquarelle drawing

    46 x 61 cm

  • A Kings Ransom (ThinKing)

    Kendell Geers

    A Kings Ransom (ThinKing), 2014

    Aquarelle drawing

    46 x 61 cm

  • A Kings Ransom (TaKing)

    Kendell Geers

    A Kings Ransom (TaKing), 2014

    Aquarelle drawing

    46 x 61 cm

  • A Kings Ransom (SpeaKing)

    Kendell Geers

    A Kings Ransom (SpeaKing), 2014

    Aquarelle drawing

    46 x 61 cm

  • A Kings Ransom (SpanKing)

    Kendell Geers

    A Kings Ransom (SpanKing), 2014

    Aquarelle drawing

    46 x 61 cm

  • A Kings Ransom (SmoKing)

    Kendell Geers

    A Kings Ransom (SmoKing), 2014

    Aquarelle drawing

    46 x 61 cm

  • A Kings Ransom (MaKing)

    Kendell Geers

    A Kings Ransom (MaKing), 2014

    Aquarelle drawing

    46 x 61 cm

  • A Kings Ransom (LicKing)

    Kendell Geers

    A Kings Ransom (LicKing), 2014

    Aquarelle drawing

    46 x 61

  • A Kings Ransom (LacKing)

    Kendell Geers

    A Kings Ransom (LacKing), 2014

    Aquarelle drawing

    46 x 61 cm

  • Arcadia Ego (DEATH)

    Kendell Geers

    Arcadia Ego (DEATH), 2013

    150 x 100

  • Arcadia Ego (CREATE)

    Kendell Geers

    Arcadia Ego (CREATE), 2013

    150 x 100

  • Arcadia Ego (EAT)

    Kendell Geers

    Arcadia Ego (EAT), 2013

    150 x 100

  • Arcadia Geers (REPEAT)

    Kendell Geers

    Arcadia Geers (REPEAT), 2013

    150 x 100

  • Arcadia Ego (WREATH)

    Kendell Geers

    Arcadia Ego (WREATH), 2013

    150 x 100

  • Arcadia Ego (BREATH)

    Kendell Geers

    Arcadia Ego (BREATH), 2013

    150 x 100

  • Arcadia Ego (SWEAT)

    Kendell Geers

    Arcadia Ego (SWEAT), 2013

    150 x 100

  • A Kings Ransom (MaKing)

    Kendell Geers

    A Kings Ransom (MaKing), 2014

    Aquarelle drawing

    46 x 61 cm

  • A Kings Ransom (MocKing)

    Kendell Geers

    A Kings Ransom (MocKing), 2014

    Aquarelle drawing

    46 x 61 cm

  • A Kings Ransom (StriKing)

    Kendell Geers

    A Kings Ransom (StriKing), 2014

    Aquarelle drawing

    46 x 61 cm

  • Slut

    Kendell Geers

    Slut, 2010

    Ink on paper

    103 x 66

  • Kill

    Kendell Geers

    Kill, 2010

    Indian ink on paper

    103 x 66.5cm

  • Cunt

    Kendell Geers

    Cunt, 2010

    Ink on paper

    100 x 65cm

  • Fear

    Kendell Geers

    Fear, 2010

    Indian ink on paper

    103 x 66.5cm

  • Rape

    Kendell Geers

    Rape, 2010

    Indian ink on paper

    103 x 66.5cm

  • Hate

    Kendell Geers

    Hate, 2010

    Ink on paper

    100 x 65cm

  • FF. V. II.

    Kendell Geers

    FF. V. II., 2013

    Inkjet

    64 x 46cm

    Edition of 65

  • For your eyes only

    Kendell Geers

    For your eyes only, 2014

    Dimensions variable

  • Time

    Kendell Geers

    Time, 2010

    Ink on paper

    103 x 66cm

  • Installation picture [Kendell Geers / AniMystikAktivist / 2014]
  • Installation picture [Kendell Geers / AniMystikAktivist / 2014]
  • Installation picture [Kendell Geers / AniMystikAktivist / 2014]
  • Installation picture [Kendell Geers / AniMystikAktivist / 2014]
  • Installation picture [Kendell Geers / AniMystikAktivist / 2014]
  • Installation picture [Kendell Geers / AniMystikAktivist / 2014]
  • Installation picture [Kendell Geers / AniMystikAktivist / 2014]
  • Installation picture [Kendell Geers / AniMystikAktivist / 2014]
  • Installation picture [Kendell Geers / AniMystikAktivist / 2014]
  • Installation picture [Kendell Geers / AniMystikAktivist / 2014]
  • Installation picture [Kendell Geers / AniMystikAktivist / 2014]
  • Installation picture [Kendell Geers / AniMystikAktivist / 2014]
  • Installation picture [Kendell Geers / AniMystikAktivist / 2014]
  • Installation picture [Kendell Geers / AniMystikAktivist / 2014]
  • Installation picture [Kendell Geers / AniMystikAktivist / 2014]