Grace Ndiritu - Reimagines the FOMU Collection

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In the exhibition 'Grace Ndiritu Reimagines the FOMU Collection', the British-Kenyan artist Grace Ndiritu puts together a new photographic universe in which she integrates painting, textiles and interior design, inspired by the female artists O'Keeffe, Modotti and Albers. It is a radical and holistic reinterpretation of the classic collection exhibition.

In her art practice, Ndiritu investigates our rapidly changing world. She sees shamanism as a way to revive 'the dying art museum'. Grace Ndiritu creates a refuge with this exhibition, a place to slow down and contemplate. She invites you to look with an open mind, to make intuitive connections and to leave behind rational thinking. Ndiritu is interested in architecture as a kind of 'spiritual technology'. She has designed a wooden scenography inspired by mid-20th century California homes, modernist museum interiors and major international world's fairs.

Ndiritu's photographic installation 'A Quest For Meaning: Painting as a Medium of Photography' (2014) forms the starting point of her quest through the FOMU collection and the exhibition that results from it. Ndiritu associatively combines photos and colored walls. Through surprising combinations she gives new meanings to work 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. 

The design of Ndiritu's exhibition also includes the Emperor Panorama, a masterpiece from the FOMU collection that can be seen again by the public after a thorough restoration. The device was made in 1905 and was then a modern machine, an 'automaton', intended to bring a photographic spectacle in 3D to a mass audience. 25 people can sit on the stools around the viewing cabinet at the same time to enjoy the magic of three-dimensional images.

From April 1 to September 10, 2023, SMAK (Ghent) presents Healing The Museum , a mid-career overview of Grace Ndiritu's versatile practice.

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