Event - Lassoooing with the Postcolonial Cowboys: A Conversation between Tracey Rose and Kendell Geers, moderated by Thembinkosi Goniwe

Lassoooing with the Postcolonial Cowboys: A Conversation between Tracey Rose and Kendell Geers, moderated by Thembinkosi Goniwe

07.19.23, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm


Artist Tracey Rose during her performance of Span II in 1997. She is sitting naked on a television screen installed within a large-scale glass exhibition case. The artist's hair has been fully shaved off her hair and is visible on the floor next to her fit. A portion of her brown hair sits on her lap as she manipulates the strands like a catholic rosary.

Tracey Rose, “Span II”, 1997. Digital print in pigment inks on 100% cotton rag paper. 34 1/16 x 24 in. Courtesy of the artist.

Join us for an online conversation between artists Tracey Rose and Kendell Geers moderated by art historian, curator and writer Thembinkosi Goniwe. Organized on the occasion of Tracey Rose: Shooting Down Babylon, the conversation will explore the seismic shifts in Rose’s practice in relation to major art and political movements from the 90’s to today and how these practices in turn impact performance and artmaking across South Africa and the world. 


You may join the live conversation between 1-2:30pm EST and 7-8:30pm (UTC+2) here with zoom passcode 922510.


Please note this conversation will take place at 1-2:30pm EST and 7-8:30pm (UTC+2).


Speaker and Artist Bios:


Kendell Geers: Born into a working class Afrikaans family during the height of Apartheid, Kendell Geers quickly found himself fighting a Crime Against Humanity on the front lines of activism and protest. Running away from the military regime and a six-year prison sentence, he escaped to London in 1988 as a political refugee. In 1989 he moved on to New York where he found employ as Richard Prince’s full time assistant. Following the release of Nelson Mandela, Geers returned to South Africa in 1990 to help build the new democracy. Describing himself as an AniMystikAktivist, Kendell Geers’ work embodies a syncretic approach that weaves together diverse Afro-European traditions from Animism and Activism, to Alchemy, Mysticism and Ritual Magick.


Thembinkosi Goniwe is an artist and art historian exploring contemporary African arts, postcolonial criticism, and black radical thought. He holds an MFA from the University of Cape Town (UCT), an MA, and a PhD in History of Art from Cornell University. He has lectured at UCT, the University of the Witwatersrand, the University of Fort Hare, and the Vaal University of Technology. His artworks have been featured in local and international exhibitions, and he has contributed essays to various publications. Goniwe has curated exhibitions in South Africa, the United States, Venice, and Edinburgh. He currently teaches Art History and Visual Culture at Rhodes University.


Tracey Rose (b. 1974, South Africa) is best-known for her evolutionary performative practice which often translates to and is accompanied by photography, video, installation, and digital prints. Often described as absurd, anarchic and carnivalesque, Rose’s work explores themes around post-coloniality, gender and sexuality, race, and repatriation. Rose was born in Durban, South Africa. In 1990, she joined the Johannesburg Art Foundation before obtaining a B.A. in Fine Art from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg in 1996. In 2004, Rose attended The South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance and later obtained her Master of Fine Arts, Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK in 2007. She currently lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa. Rose has taken part in several residencies including the Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridgeshire, UK (2014); DAAD, Berlin, Germany (2012/13); Fresh, South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa (2001); and ArtPace, San Antonio, Texas, USA (2000). She has exhibited widely internationally, most notably, May You Live in Interesting Times, South African National Pavilion, 58th La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy (2016); False Flag, Art Parcours, Art Basel, Basel, Switzerland (2016); Toro Salvaje, Museum of Modern Art, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2016); Reina Sof­ia Museum, Madrid, Spain (2014); Waiting for God, Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa and Bildmuseet, Umea, Sweden (2011); Rose O’Grady (with Lorraine O’Grady), Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa (2011); Performa 17, New York, USA (2017); Documenta14, Athens, Greece and Kassel, Germany (2017); A Terrible Beauty is Born, 11th Biennale de Lyon, Lyon, France (2011); Africa Remix, Centre George Pompidou, Paris, France (2005); and Africaine, The Studio Museum, New York, USA (2002), to name a few.