Grace Ndiritu

Grace Ndiritu Reimagines the FOMU Collection

For Grace Ndiritu Reimagines the FOMU Collection, British-Kenyan artist Grace Ndiritu constructs an original photographic universe of paintings, textiles and interior design inspired by female artists O’Keeffe, Modotti and Albers. It represents a radical and holistic reinterpretation of the classic collection exhibition.

Ndiritu’s art practice explores our rapidly changing world. She sees shamanism as a means to reactivate ‘the dying art museum’. With this new exhibition, Grace Ndiritu has created a refuge, a space for slowing down and reflection. She invites you to see with an open mind, make intuitive connections and abandon rational thought processes. Ndiritu is interested in architecture as a type of 'spiritual technology' and has designed a wooden scenography inspired by mid-century Californian homes and modernist museum interiors and world’s fairs.

Ndiritu’s photographic installation A Quest for Meaning: Painting as a Medium of Photography (2014) formed the springboard for her exploration of the FOMU Collection and the ensuing exhibition. Ndiritu uses free association to combine photographs and coloured walls. Her surprising amalgams give fresh meaning to works by, among others, Alexandre, Bianca Baldi, Samuel Bourne, Dirk Braeckman, Alvin Langdon Coburn, Lynne Cohen, Gilbert Fastenaekens, Gertrude Fehr, Geert Goiris, Willy Kessels, Rinko Kawauchi, Man Ray, Auguste Salzmann, Filip Tas, Nadine Tasseel and Wolfgang Tillmans.

A highlight of the FOMU Collection, the Kaiserpanorama will also be on display after undergoing a complete restoration and has been integrated into the design of Ndiritu's show. The device was a modern piece of automated machinery when it was made in 1905 and presented a 3D photographic spectacle to the public. Twenty-five people at a time can sit on stools circling the viewing cabinet and enjoy the magic of three-dimensional images.  

From 1 April to 10 September 2023 S.M.A.K. (Gent) will present Healing The Museum, a mid career-survey looking at Grace Ndiritu’s diverse practice.

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