Grace Ndiritu Healing The Museum

Grace Ndiritu Healing The Museum S M A K 2023 Image Dirk Pauwels 9

'Healing The Museum' is the first mid-career retrospective dedicated to Grace Ndiritu’s diverse artistic practice.

Performance, film, social actions, shamanism, meditation, publications, textile work and research into museum collections are all part of this multi-layered exhibition project, in which she argues for the re-energization and ethicalization of the museum space and, by extension, the whole of society.

Intrigued by the question of what “embodied architecture” might mean, the artist has conceived the exhibition as a journey through space and time, incorporating a personal architectural design entitled The Spiritual Overlay. It follows the four cardinal directions and unfolds in temporal, contemplative moments. Along the way Grace Ndiritu introduces visitors to urgent themes, including community, ecology, blackness, feminism and issues relating to indigenous peoples. The journey ends at The Temple, an architectural structure intended for a critical collection presentation but also a spiritual space for encounter, transformation and healing. Focused sessions and shamanic performances will take place in this sacred space, and in the direct presence of the artworks. Transformation is made possible through the spiritual energy and heightened attention arising from these activities

Healing The Museum is part of Grace Ndiritu’s long-term research project of the same name, which she initiated in 2012 as a response to the spiritual decline in cultural institutions. It also encompasses Ndiritu’s artist residency at S.M.A.K. Under the title A Spiritual Inventory of a 21st Century Museum, the artist has spent the past year reflecting with staff on how to shape the museum of the future.

A first monograph, published by Motto Books, will accompany the exhibition.

Biography Grace Ndiritu

Grace Ndiritu is a British-Kenyan artist whose artworks are concerned with the transformation of our contemporary world. Ndiritu has been featured in The Guardian, Artforum, Art Review, TIME and Phaidon’s The 21st Century Art Book. Her work can be found in museum collections such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), The British Council (London), LACMA (Los Angeles) and The Modern Art Museum (Warsaw). Her experimental art writing and images have been published by Migros Museum, Bergen Kunsthall, Whitechapel Gallery, The Paris Review, MIT Press, the art magazine Metropolis M, and Oxford University Press. Ndiritu’s archive of over forty ‘hand-crafted’ videos, textiles, painting, experimental photography, shamanic performances and films have been widely exhibited, including at The British Art Show (2021 to 2023), Wellcome Collection, London (2022), Gropius Bau, Berlin (2022), Kunsthal Gent (2021), Nottingham Contemporary, UK (2021), and at international film festivals such as the 72nd Berlinale, FID Marseilles and BFI London Film Festival (2022). She is winner of The Jarman Film Award 2022, presented in association with Film London.

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