Kendell Geers is known for creating installations, sculptures and situations which assault our senses by means of carefully selected and appropriated materials, sound, and manipulated film footage. On first impression work that appears tough and confrontational slowly reveals itself to be poignant, even poetic. Geers brings to the forefront the most extreme and intimate emotional states in the human psyche. Questioning the nature of desire, violence, horror or ecstasy, the artist disturbs commonly accepted moral codes and puts into doubt the principles by which good and bad are judged. The intensity of the works does not allow any escape from the resulting impact. This practice, multi-layered and rich in references, is sometimes made obvious by title or use of medium but is more often concealed for the viewer to discover. Geers tempts the audience to peer over the edge, to confront their own true selves, to accept responsibility for their own actions and to forfeit security for freedom.
For his exhibition at Stephen Friedman Gallery, Geers has installed a large text piece which covers the gallery windows. It is an extract of a succession of hundreds of words from the dictionary and can be viewed from both the outside and the inside of the gallery. A variety of objects are shown in the front space. On the floor, a clamp holds together several books, all featuring the word ‘revolution' on their spines. A sphere made from surveillance mirrors sits on the ground. In a corner of the room, a cube is installed made of tape and alarm signs which are usually displayed outside of homes to discourage burglars. Also included is a sculpture of an antique religious figure wrapped in chevron tape, a material often used to cordon off areas of danger. In the back gallery a sculpture, made from different kinds of connected padlocks, creates a large square carpet that covers the floor.
Kendell Geers has exhibited extensively around the world, most notably at Documenta 11 and The Short Century show in 2002, and the Carnegie International in 1999. Recent solo exhibitions have been held at Palais de Tokyo in Paris, 2002, Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart, 2001 and Le Consortium in Dijon and Museum für Angewandte Kunst Wien in 2000. In England, Kendell Geers has shown at Delfina Project Space in 2001 and was part of the Arts Council touring exhibition, Trauma, 2001.