Kneer is primarily a sculptor and installation artist. He questions social mores with art that skirts the line between abjection and attraction. His investigations of subcultural semiotics and obscure bodily fetishes are underlined by a particular interest in (traditional) craft and the juxtaposition of opposing aesthetics.
For his presentation at Center, the artist focuses his attention on the carnival and its potential to parody and produce grotesque identity configurations. The carnival sets the stage for a world of extremes where laughter subverts authority. His engagement with this theme raises questions about our conception of high and low culture, where the centrality of archetypes continues to exert a powerful influence on the collective imagination. Loners, Emos (emotional hardcore rockers), and cultural misfits are exemplified by the figure of the Waggis, a character that figures in the yearly Carnival of Basel. In this carnival, the Waggis is excluded from the community and this is played out as a parody of social relations and groupthink. The Waggis occupies the paradoxical position of being a misfit within a group of outsiders. The subjective identity produced by the group and those excluded from the group throws up questions related to libidinal investment, the taboos on which power relations are constructed and the violence that is exacted on, and by, those outside of the norm.