CHRIS THURMAN: Mastering the alluring beauty of violence
Stripped Bare is a retrospective of work produced by Kendell Geers over three decades in which he interrogates violent themes
I ended my column last week, about the Goodman Gallery Cape Town’s group show Fathom, by remarking that this sea-focused exhibition linked the violent ways in which 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 co-operation 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. ..