April 27, 2007 - S.M.A.K. - Kendell Geers: ‘Irrespektiv’
April 27, 2007

Kendell Geers: ‘Irrespektiv’

‘Self Portrait’, 1995.

Kendell Geers

April 21-August 26, 2007

Museum for Contemporary Art Ghent, Belgium
9000 Ghent

The IRRESPEKTIV exhibition by the South African artist Kendell Geers (b. May 1968) is the first fully-fledged attempt to present an ordered retrospective of a number of themes that run through his work. Much of his work is about exploring and crossing boundaries in the broadest sense of the word. These boundaries may be geographical, linguistic, institutional, political, social, sexual, and/or psychological. It is important that the spectator realises this when he looks at Geers work and that perhaps he or she will even try to arrive at some sort of self-criticism during the observation to establish where these boundaries lie within him- or herself.

At first sight, in his early work Kendell Geers seems to be the prototype of the socially engaged artist of the nineties.

Geers changed his date of birth to May 68 a month that has a heavy emotional charge politically and socially, and he mainly based his work on the South African political situation of the time. Topics like segregation, (un)safety, the suppression of minority groups, racism and universal violence in short, almost anything that curtails the fundamental freedom of mankind are not only embedded in his work as such, they also make up its socio-political background.

In IRRESPEKTIV a number of these works are brought together in a sort of cabinet space. His almost activist past was collected in showcases where themes like security, safety and delineation form the thread.
This social engagement that was explicitly politically inspired in his early work seems to have a more universal character in Geers more recent work.

By using minimalist imagery and a well-considered choice of rough (building)materials, which are highly suitable for depicting urban terror or economic violence, Kendell Geers has built up a complex and impressive oeuvre over the past 15 years. A good example of this approach is the monumental work Mondo Kane, a large minimalist cube pierced with dangerous looking slivers of glass. This work combines formal efficiency (green glass against pure white stone) and political impact (the hint of broken glass on militaristic fencing) with reflections on modern art history (the minimalist cube as an archetype of the movement of the same name, and of the current museological white cube or empty and white room).
September 2007: Baltic (Gateshead)
March 2008: Musée dart Contemporain (Lyon)
End of 2008 Beginning of 2009 : Mart (Trento)


From March 17 till June 3 you can visit the solo exhibition Auto-Da-Fé of Kendell Geers in B.P.S.22 in Charleroi.

Kendell Geers in S.M.A.K., supported by Allen & Overy: Allen & Overy LLP is an international legal practice serving companies, banks and public entities from offices in 24 major cities worldwide. ‘Justice for all’ is our approach to pro bono work and sponsoring activities. Allen & Overy LLP is proud to support this thought-provoking Kendell Geers exhibition.

Also on view at S.M.A.K.
Jesper Just
21 April 24 June 2007
M for M
With work by Michaël Dörner, Philip Huyghe, Adam Leech, Isa Melsheimer, Aam Solleveld, Herman Van Ingelgem.
21 April 24 June 2007
Art Now
Clemens Krauss
April 21 May 6, 2007

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