17th Jul, 2017 17:00

Historic, Modern & Contemporary Art

Lot 156
Lot 156 - Kendell Geers (South Africa 1968-)


Kendell Geers (South Africa 1968-)
Border Order (from Terrorealismus)

metal, Perspex and neon tubing

Artwork date: 2003
Exhibited: Migros Museum for Contemporary Art, Zurich, Terrorealism, 7 June – 10 August 2003.
Literature: Kellner, C. ed. (2013). Kendell Geers 1988–2012. Münich: Haus de Kunst, illustrated on pp.150–151.

Sold for R193,256
Estimated at R100,000 - R150,000


metal, Perspex and neon tubing

Artwork date: 2003
Exhibited: Migros Museum for Contemporary Art, Zurich, Terrorealism, 7 June – 10 August 2003.
Literature: Kellner, C. ed. (2013). Kendell Geers 1988–2012. Münich: Haus de Kunst, illustrated on pp.150–151.


52 x 250 x 27.5 cm

Stephen Friedman Gallery, London. Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg.


This light sculpture by South African-born, Belgium-based artist Kendell Geers formed part of his exhibition Terrorealismus, which showed at the the Migros Museum in Zürich in 2003, as part of the project Next Flag – an African sniper project for European spaces. The show was specially designed for the museum to take on the feeling of a cell, prison and temple in the same instant. The outer façade was pierced by pieces of broken glass and blocked any view of the interior, so that it was impossible ‘to fathom whether knowledge of this interior signifie[d] a threat or protection’ (Villarreal 2003). On entering the room, three neon tubes became visible, forming the words ‘B/ORDER’, ‘D/ANGER’ and ‘T/ERROR’, which flickered from one layer of meaning to the next, in intervals of ‘semantic short-circuit’ (Villarreal 2003).Border Order taps directly into contemporary anxieties around political power, territorial control and the militarisation of borders and barriers to maintain sovereignty by restricting the movement of people. Geers has explored unsettling linguistic paradoxes, or the notion of language as ‘divine curse’, across numerous bodies of work. ‘The picture as text bypasses the rational conscious mind and speaks directly to something we’re not aware of, because it is held in different parts of our brains,’ he said at a walkabout in advance of Third World Disorder, his solo exhibition at Goodman Gallery, Cape Town in 2010. ‘A lot of my work is about balancing creative and destructive forces, order and disorder, male and female, black and white, yin and yang.’ This stark ‘visual mantra’ is a direct conceptual engagement with the transnational politics of spatial apartheid and the incessantly policed line between chaos and order.

Alexandra Dodd


Villarreal, Ignacio. (2003) ‘Terrorealismus – Kendell Geers at Migros Museum’. Art Daily. http://artdaily.com/index.asp?int_sec=11&int_new=6259#.WTRYpzOQ3ec (last accessed 2 June 2017).

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Auction: Historic, Modern & Contemporary Art, 17th Jul, 2017

Aspire Art Auctions’ second Johannesburg sale offered a selection of some of the best works produced by local and international artists available on the local market. Offerings included Cameroonian-born, Belgium-based, Pascale Marthine Tayou, Chilean, Eugenio Dittborn, and South Africans, William Kentridge, Kendell Geers, Louis Maqhubela, Cecil Skotnes, Maggie Laubser, Irma Stern, and Mohau Modisakeng, amongst others.

The sale was led by an international auction record of R1 200 320 achieved for a drawing, Children under Apartheid, by exiled South African artist Dumile Feni, as well as the successful sale of top international lot Golden Mask by renowned performance artist Marina Abramović. 


Friday 14 July 2017 | 10 am – 7 pm
Saturday 15 July 2017 | 10 am – 5 pm
Sunday 16 July 2017 | 10 am – 4 pm

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