AniMystikAKtivist Between Traditional and the Contemporary in African Art Kendell Geers, Jens Hoffmann, Z.S. Strother

Publication date:
12 Jun 2018
128 pages: 241 x 267mm
250 color illus.
Sales territories:
World excluding for Benelux

South African–born Belgian artist Kendell Geers changed his date of birth to MAY 1968 as a performance, effectively giving birth to himself as a work of art. His artistic practice weaves together African animism, European mysticism, and socio-political activism with humor, irony, and contradiction. He uses his identity as a White African like a key to unlock and critique our understanding and reading of history, art, and language. This book, which focuses on his works created between 1988 and the present, looks at the influence of avant-garde traditions from Dada and Surrealism to Punk, intertwined with the powerful legacy of traditional African art on his work. Spiritually charged, politically poignant, and socially engaged, the work cannot be categorized as either European or African, but is rather a prolonged metaphysical dialogue between cultures, archetypal signs, and sacred symbols. Included are works in a diversity of media, including painting, sculpture, performance, photography, installation, and conceptual art.

Jens Hoffmann is senior curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and director of exhibitions at the Jewish Museum, New York. Zoë Strother is Riggio Professor of African Art at Columbia University.