Between Traditional and the Contemporary in African Art
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’, he takes a syncretic approach to art that weaves together diverse Afro-European traditions, including animism, alchemy, mysticism, ritual and a socio-political activism, and is laced with black humour, irony and cultural contradiction.
In the spirit of the archetypal trickster, Geers uses his experiences as a white African like a skeleton key to unlock our understanding of history, culture and identity. AniMystikAKtivist focuses on work created between 1988 and the present, considering the powerful legacy and influence of traditional African art on avant-garde movements, from Dada and Surrealism to punk and the Situationist International.
Spiritually charged, politically poignant and socially engaged, the work of Kendell Geers cannot be categorised as either European or African, but is rather a prolonged metaphysical dialogue between cultures, archetypal signs and sacred symbols.