Archive: Issue No. 63, November 2002

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Art Papers

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Artist of Terror: Geers in Art Papers

It is not only in South Africa that he is making headlines. Kendell Geers is currently the subject of a major feature in this month's Art Papers magazine. In an extensive overview of his work, author Joseph Whitt insightfully remarks, "his work often functions more like the scene of a crime, where visitors try to reconstruct what has transpired and then try to find their own relationship to that understanding."

True, this might be a standard interpretation of critic Ralph Rugoff's 'forensic method', but it is also remarkably prescient given the literal crime perpetrated at the Jag recently. Titled Kendell Geers's Art Of Terror, Whitt's essay notes that "the spirits of the trickster, the activist and the art historian find a fearless synergy in Geers, and his strategies engage where others might lapse and merely sermonize."

Referring specifically to the artist's 1990 photograph, Bloody Hell, Whitt remarks, "Geers's deadpan visage continues to stare at his home from a seemingly distant past, embodying the hopes and contrition of an entire nation implicated in its own undoing-a mirror held up to, and a warning for, the world."

http://artpapers.org

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