Kendell Geers - The Mystic Artist

South African born Belgian artist, Kendell Geers presents his latest body of work titled In Gozi We Trust at the Goodman Gallery this November. Returning to his hometown Johannesburg, Geers mediates on the perceptions of the city and the element of physical danger that comes with living here. Geers has long been a front runner for altering ideas around the global South. His work navigates Afrikaner identity, landscape and Shamanistic principles, creating a syncretic approach to art that weaves together diverse Afro-European traditions.

Describing himself as an "AniMystikAKtivist", Geers believes that art has the power to change the world, one perception at a time. Returning to the Goodman Gallery for his sixth solo exhibition, he seeks to create new dialogues around the paradoxical relationship he and many others have with the city of Johannesburg.

Kendell Geers

Danger/ In Jozi We Trust

In Gozi We Trust presents a dynamic translation of the Nguni word for 'danger'. It also plays on the phrase 'In God We Trust'. Replacing the icon of a higher power with the eclectic Jozi (Johannesburg) city scape environment. A subtle reference to William Kentridge’s animation Johannesburg, 2nd Greatest City After Paris (1989), this play on words is typical of Geers’ trickster sensibilities. The exhibition thus examines the role that threat and danger play in the construction of Johannesburg’s identity. It also provides a means for expressing the consoling habit of finding comfort through the beauty of art. 

"In Gozi We Trust blends the emotional geography of suburban paranoia with the very real dangers that make Johannesburg one of the most psychologically complex cities in the world to feel safe,” says Geers. “The comfort zones of security fences and lavish décor are thrown up against the border that is at once freedom on the one side and a prison on the other.

"In Gozi We Trust is a resurrection of spirit through an invocation of nature," Geers explains. "Pierneef painted the landscape without people because he was a prisoner of his perception. This exhibition is a return to the traditions of still life and landscape painting, in which conceptual language is flipped on its head with a conceptual-expressionist twist."

What Is It?

Digging into his Afrikaans roots, Geers questions the landscape traditions that began with Pierneef by resurrecting dead Acacia trees in the Kruger Park as Yggdrasil, the mythological world tree. The dead tree is both symptomatic of climate change and a spiritual call to arms. Inspired by shamanic practices as much as by the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, In Gozi We Trust is a resurrection of spirit through an invocation of nature.

Don't miss out on seeing these intriguing artworks for yourself at the Goodman Gallery.

When Is It?

The exhibition opens on Saturday, 23 November 2019. It runs until Saturday, 18 January 2020.

Gallery opening times:

Tuesday to Friday at 09:30 - 17:30

Saturday & Sunday at 09:30 - 16:30

Where Is It?

Goodman Gallery, 163 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood, Johannesburg.

How Much Is It?

Entrance to the gallery is free.

For More Information

Visit the Goodman gallery website for more information -

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 Details: +27 (0)11 788 1113 | [email protected]