context

extract from Here lies Kendell Geers, the cannibal, Paulo Herkenhoff (Irrespektiv published by BOM Publishers in cooperation with SMAK (Ghent), B.P.S.22 (Charleroi), Baltic (Gateshead), MOCA (Lyon) and MART (Trento), 296 pages, ISBN 978-84-934879-5-9, Barcelona, August 2007)

[...] Preface. Geers introduces a problem: “I have ripped out the tongue of my master and placed it firmly in my cheek.” He writes that: “It’s about returning the body to a space of desire, sex, blood, sweat, pain, love, death, the awakening of the Beast within, the cannibal in Dionysus devouring Apollo in order to assimilate him.” (Kendell Geers. I, TERROREALIST. Undated)

This is a voice of resistance that expresses a will to know and take action. It is also the Nietzschean clash of antithetical instincts. Geers takes Merleau Ponty’s notion of the carnality of History and the flesh of language: devouring language, devouring the other through language or being devoured by language and by the other through language. Geers presents two arguments:

“Language is a self-replicating virus that can only be destroyed by a stronger more resilient virus. Through the mirror of the colloquial, the tongue gets twisted and forgets its place in collecting our thoughts.”(Kendell Geers. The Affluence and the Effluence. 2002.)

“Language is oppressive for it only acknowledges that which can be named. It is not the    result of any particular individual’s design as much as the external manifestation of a culture.” (Kendell Geers. I, TERROREALIST. Undated.)

Paradoxes. Within Geers’ poetics, only paradoxes (not dictionaries and thesauruses) can dissect language as a mode of perversion and perversity. Ambivalence cannot survive and paradoxes are dissolved once they are clarified. Geers does not fight linguistic wars (as described by Todorov) but engages in the guerrilla warfare of language. For Geers, logical syntax exists to be perverted through paradox. The logic of a syntactical employment of words engages the viewer with doubts and decisions about the meaning of signs. Geers’ paradoxes escape tautology and contradiction. They deal with the truth-conditions defined by Wittgenstein. In answer to the question of truth, Geers presents the work BE.LIE.VE in 2002. Thus, the state of things is no longer homologous to the way they were understood before. [...]