The deadly trinity warps the line between violence and beauty

‘Stripped Bare’ is a retrospective of Kendell Geers’ work that spans more than three decades

19 April 2021 - 19:47 By Chris Thurman

A little while ago, I wrote about the Goodman Gallery Cape Town’s group show Fathom,  remarking that this sea-focused exhibition linked the violent ways humans treat one another with the destruction we inflict on the natural world. Arguably this paradigm implies the opposition of violence (tarnished humanity) to beauty (the purity of nature).

But nature is also “red in tooth and claw”, as Tennyson described it: violence and domination characterise ecologies as much as cooperation and symbiosis. Moreover, there is also a sort of seductive beauty in violence. Or, at least, humans seem to be drawn to violence not only by animalistic kill-or-be-killed rage — nor by a colder, more calculating Darwinism — but also by its aesthetic qualities...

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