Kendell Geers began wrapping religious icons in red-and-white striped tape in the period of 1992-1994. His first ‘lost object’ wrapped in chevron tape was a Christian Crucifix: T.W. (I.N.R.I), which is now in the collection of the Centre Pompidou, Paris. The red-and-white danger tape represents the blood and flesh of Christ in the Eucharist and also references the wrapping of Christ’s body with linen bandages for his burial and eventual resurrection, when the strips of cloth were found abandoned in his tomb.
T.W. (I.N.R.I.) 346, 1995 | Lost object, chevron tape | 34 x 23,5 x 4 cm
Kendell Geers € 35.000,- (Excl. tax)
Mutus Liber 37, 2009 | Indian ink and gesso on lost object | 62 x 15 x 14 cm
Kendell Geers € 20.000,- (Excl. tax)
For Mutus Liber, Geers quite deliberately uses what he calls ‘curios’: objects crafted to sell to Westerners, which never embodied spirits. He is liberated by this knowledge to be much more aggressive in disfiguring them. Geers defaces the objects by painting them white. He then throws Indian ink, the vehicle for writing for thousands of years, over the figure.
TWILIGHT OF THE IDOLS
In 2002, Geers began his series Twilight of the Idols, named after Nietzsche’s essay, in which he returned to using danger tape to wrap a series of religious icons, including the Buddha, the Hindu Shiva and the Virgin Mary, and increasingly diverse African sculptures.
Geers’ intention for the wrapping of ‘lost objects’ is to call attention to what is missing, what is hidden, what is underneath. He hopes that the viewer will question what is censored in the display of ‘African art’ and will wonder if the figures still have the spirituality, the psychic presence they once contained.
Twilight of the Idols 9029, 2012 | Chevron tape on lost object | 42,5 x 13,5 x 11,5 cm
Kendell Geers € 15.000,- (Excl. tax)
Les Fleurs du Mal 15452, 2019 | Acrylic on canvas | 160 x 99 cm
Kendell Geers € 30.000,- (Excl. tax)
Geers draws inspiration from the contradictions inherent in his identity as an African artist. In Les Fleurs du Mal, the artist explores the notion of cultural transmission and the process whereby Dutch colonial influences flow into Afrikaans cultural identity. The same seventeenth century morals that permitted, encouraged and profited from colonialism also presided over the culture that gave rise to the Dutch still life tradition. The repetition of an emblem in these works is also inspired by Dutch wax batik fabrics, whose brightly colored patterns are a symbol of African identity yet are designed in Indonesia and produced in the Netherlands.