Having grown up in Johannesburg in an Afrikaans family during the years of apartheid, Kendell Geers tackles themes of violence, segregation, sexuality and religion, giving life to an art chat that is ironic and irreverent, eluding any kind of categorization. One could also interpret the artist’s decision to move his date of birth to May of 1968 as a provocative stance
related to the period of the student protests, the killing of Martin Luther King and the start of an isolation policy by South Africa. The choice was made in 1993, during his participation in the Venice Biennale, where he, together with other artists, represented South Africa. As stated by Kendell Geers himself: “After Venice I realized that making art is much more than hanging
something on the wall […] it is, first and foremost, about being able to relate to the context.” Clear references to religious, political or social tensions are Geers’ favored materials: crosses, handcuffs, but also discarded objects found in the street, such as plastic bags, weapons and fragments of broken bottles. "T.W. Batons (Circle)" is a large sculpture of batons in a radial arrangement in which the essence of the circular geometric shape contrasts with the brutality of the weapons. Conceived during the political riots preceding the South African elections in 1994, the work refers to methods of repression used by the
police and the abuses authorized by the local government that, on that occasion, caused thousands of deaths.