brussels

Kendell Geers, Flesh of the Spirit 19, 2016, bronze, 57 1/2 × 17 3/8 × 13 3/8". From the series “Flesh of the Spirit,” 2010–.

Kendell Geers

rodolphe janssen

Kendell Geers, Flesh of the Spirit 19, 2016, bronze, 57 1/2 × 17 3/8 × 13 3/8". From the series “Flesh of the Spirit,” 2010–.

One of Kendell Geers’s most iconic works is his Self-Portrait, 1995: half of a broken Heineken beer bottle, ready to be used as a weapon, bearing a label reading IMPORTED FROM HOLLAND. As the work of a white male South African descendant of Dutch colonizers, this simple object encapsulates two of the major and returning themes of Geers’s art: violence and identity. In this recent pair of exhibitions in Brussels, both titled “AfroPunk,” he showed his own work alongside traditional African art to create compelling variations on his recurring concerns.

The show at Rodolphe Janssen included a huge wall painting, Lines of Flight 299, 2012. At first glance it appears to be a Sol LeWitt drawing, with a multitude of white lines connecting to each other against a burgundy background. Look more closely and you’ll see that these drawn lines are in fact depictions of barbed wire—a material

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