Skip to content

Artist Talk: Dissent without Modification: Grace Ndiritu

Posted in Contextual Research

Grace Ndiritu is a British-Kenyan artist whose artworks are concerned with the transformation of our contemporary world. Works including The Ark: Center for Interdisciplinary Experimentation; COVERSLUT© fashion and economic project; and performance art series, Healing The Museum, have been shown around the world since 2012. Recently, her debut short film Black Beauty has been selected for prestigious film festivals including 71st Berlinale in the Forum Expanded section and FIDMarseille in 2021. Ndiritu has been featured in TIME magazine, Phaidon’s The 21st Century Art Book, Art Monthly and Elephant magazine. Her work is housed in museum collections such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), The British Council and The Modern Art Museum (Warsaw). Her writing has been published in her critical theory book Dissent Without Modification (Bergen Kunsthall) in 2021; The Whitechapel Gallery in the Documents of Contemporary Art anthology series; Animal Shelter Journal, Semiotext(e) The MIT Press; Metropolis M; and The Oxford University Press.

Recent solo exhibitions and performances include Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool (2019), S.M.A.K. & M.S.K., Belgium (2019), Eastside Projects, Birmingham (2018), CAG Vancouver (2018), Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona (2017), Museum Modern of Art, Warsaw (2014), Musee Chasse & Nature and Centre Pompidou, Paris (2013). Ndiritu has been featured in TIME magazine, Phaidon’s The 21st Century Art BookArt Monthly, Apollo Magazine’s “40 under 40” list, Elephant magazine, and The Sunday Times Radio Show with Mariella Frostrup. Her work is housed in museum collections such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), The British Council, The Modern Art Museum (Warsaw), and private collections such as the King Mohammed VI Collection in Morocco and The Walther Collections in New York and Germany. Her experimental art writing and images have been published in her non-fiction book Dissent Without Modification (Bergen Kunsthall), The Whitechapel Gallery in the Documents of Contemporary Art anthology series; The Paris ReviewLe Journal Laboratoires d’AubervilliersAnimal Shelter JournalSemiotext(e); The MIT Press; Metropolis M; and The Oxford University Press. Grace Ndiritu studied at de Ateliers, Amsterdam: guest tutors included Marlene Dumas (painter), Steve McQueen (film director), Tacita Dean (artist) and Stan Douglas (artist).

Grace Ndiritu
Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona (2017)


First welcomed to de Appel in the winter of 2019 at our presentation of the book THE RURAL, the multifaceted artist and alum of de Ateliers Grace Ndiritu returns for a special interview to offer fresh perspective on our times. In hand, on our minds and on offer through de Appel’s (web)shop are Grace Ndiritu’s new book of interviews, DISSENT WITHOUT MODIFICATION as well as selections from her COVERSLUT© line of clothing. DISSENT WITHOUT MODIFICATIONCOVERSLUT©About Grace Ndiritu

De Appel.

Dissent Without Modification: The 1990sis a research book composed of interviews with radical and progressive artists and thinkers. Some are well-known, some are not. They are African, European, and American women working as painters, photographers, performers, hackers, activists and educators, among other roles, who started their education and careers in the 1990s. The book illuminates that decade in a new way, and regards it as a pivotal point in the lineage of today’s grass-roots politics and cultural ferment. The book recalls the Seattle Riots against the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement; the recent televisual phenomenon Catfish recalling MTV’s Real World andthe spread of the Occupy movement and the birth of Black Lives Matter through the recent Ferguson and Missouri uprisings. Dissent Without Modification: The 1990s offers first-hand perspectives on the 1990s as the decade “when shit went bad and which we never recovered from,” – to quote Hank Moody, the cantankerous main character of Californication, cult TV show. At last in Dissent Without Modification: The 1990s Grace Ndiritu takes readers on a circular, revealing expedition into the recent past, sharing its impact with a new generation of readers.

De Appel.

COVERSLUT© is a fashion and economic research project from Grace Ndiritu. It focuses on dealing with issues of race, gender and class politics. It incorporates Capitalist, Pay What You Can and Ethical/Environmental strategies into its economic framework. The concept for COVERSLUT© is inspired by Ndiritu’s book on youth culture Dissent Without Modification. COVERSLUT© is also a textile apron (cover) used to hide a dirty clothes worn by kitchen maids (sluts i.e. dirty women) in 17th century English society. But with its double entendre (meaning), artist Grace Ndiritu couldn’t resist making a tongue-in-cheek statement, about how big brands and advertising are the corporate sluts of our time. Big brands co-opt youth culture and sell it back to the young en masse, stamped with their branding and logo signs. The 1st edition of COVERSLUT© was supported by Manoeuvre in Ghent, Belgium. The collection is now available de Appel’s (web)shop.

De Appel.

Fire, flood and frozen goldfish: Our Silver City 2094 reveals Nottingham’s future – review | Exhibitions | The Guardian

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *