Born in Johannesburg into a working-class Afrikaans family during the height of apartheid, Kendell Geers grew up realizing that his moral, spiritual and cultural education was based on racist lies. He ran away from home at the age of fifteen, and performed an artistic operation on himself by deciding to change his date of birth to May 1968.
Fighting a Crime Against Humanity on the front lines of activism and protest, he fled from the military re- gime which had sentenced him to six years imprisonment, reaching London in 1988 as a political refugee. In 1989 he moved on to New York where he found employ as Richard Prince’s full-time assistant. In 1990, following Nelson Mandela’s release, Geers returned to South Africa to help build the new democracy.
As an artist, curator, musician, designer and writer, Geers works without compromising. In the belief that art is both political and spiritual, his multi-faceted practice cannot be categorized in terms of trends, cli- chés or fashion. The raw energy of a punk attitude blends with the visceral visionary philosophy of poets like Rimbaud, Blake and Burroughs in a mysterious cocktail of unexpected contrasts.
From the early 1990s, Geers has taken part in many exhibitions world-wide, including The Street. Where the world is made and Road to Justice at MAXXI (Rome, 2018 and 2017); Documenta (2017 and 2002); Venice Biennale (2017 and 2007); Shanghai Biennial (2016); Punk. Its Traces in Contemporary Art at MACBA (Barcelona, 2016); Contemporary Art from the Centre Pompidou at Haus der Kunst (Munich, 2016); INSERT 2014 at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (Delhi, 2014); The Luminous Interval at the Guggenheim Museum (Bilbao, 2011); and the Bienal de São Paulo (2010), just to mention a few.