Gallery 400 presents a conversation between artist Kendell Geers and curator Rhoda Rosen, both native to South Africa and working to address international issues of justice.
Rhoda Rosen is an independent curator and educator who teaches at UIC in the Museum and Exhibition Studies program and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Rosen worked as a curatorial assistant for noted cultural theorist Sander Gilman throughout the 1990s and early 2000s and has published and presented on topics ranging from monumental sculpture in South Africa to controversial exhibition practices. Rosen’s 2008 exhibition Imaginary Coordinates at Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership, Chicago, provoked public controversy over the competing views it presented on the struggle for land and peace in the Middle East. Marc Fischer of Temporary Services said of the exhibition: “The varied forms of the many maps on display shift radically in relation to what the maker wished to emphasize; subjectivity abounds in all disciplines, not only in art.” Rosen earned her BA and MA degrees from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, and her PhD in History from UIC.
Kendell Geers is a contemporary artist based in Brussels. Active in the anti-apartheid struggle as a youth in Johannesburg, Geers was exiled briefly from South Africa but returned there from 1990 to 2000 and worked as an artist, art critic, and curator. Working in video, installation, drawing, sculpture, photography, and performance, Geers is a highly political and socially engaged artist. He is known best for using colors and materials that signal danger—sirens, broken glass, barbed wire—to reference the ubiquity of violence and as a means to examine power structures, social injustice, and establishment values. Geers exhibits and lectures internationally. In 2014 Geers will exhibit at Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg; Stephen Friedman Gallery, London; Yvon Lambert, Paris; and will be included in Ruffneck Constructivists, a group exhibition at the ICA, Philadelphia, among others.
This event is supported, in part, by the Visiting Artists Program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.