For this exhibition Geers will show two video installations and a large work on paper. He will use the full window front of the gallery to display a text collage appropriating news items. At first, the visual format is reminiscent of classified ads, but on closer inspection they reveal themselves as extremely discomforting lists of crime, murder and other atrocities committed within a 48 hour period in South Africa. Facing the street the viewer is immediately confronted with this work.
Geers' two other works, a video projection and a multi-channel TV installation, function on a similar level of discomfort. The exposure of equipment and hardware is not meant to seduce our visual senses. Though seemingly edgy and overpowering, the work has a stringent, poetic demeanour, which serves as a platform for social and political debate about our preconceived ideas of what art is.
Geers' urge to "scratch where it doesn't itch" is not intended to shock. His sincere investigation into what disturbs and what is accepted is explored in his five TV watchtowers. They show sequences of film clips, which seem identical at first, but are slightly re-edited to evoke a sense of order turning into chaos. His video projection in the front gallery space alludes to an inner scream and the ebb and flow of an agonised woman's voice accompanies the unsettling image.
This is Kendell Geers' first solo exhibition in Britain. He has taken part in numerous recent one person and group exhibitions all over the world, most notably at Traffic, S.M.A.K, Ghent and Power, Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Leipzig, in 1999; ArtPace, San Antonio, Texas and the São Paulo Bienal in 1998, the Johannesburg Biennale in 1997, and Inclusion Exclusion, Künstlerhaus Graz, Austria, in 1996. This year he will participate in the Carnegie International, Pittsburgh and at Vienna Secession.
Stephen Friedman Gallery will be participating in the Basel Art Fair, 16 - 22 June 1999 in hall 212/104.