Tatjana Pieters is proud to present the first solo exhibition in Belgium by internationally renown multimedia & performance artist Grace Ndiritu, featuring the 9th volume of her ‘A Quest For Meaning (AQFM)’ series. This work can be seen as a universal narrative, a creation story she tells from the beginning of time. Told through photography, it brings ‘stories’ between similarly disparate objects and events from the Big Bang until now, by conjuring up and making new connections between them. Abstract photography allows Ndiritu to explore the formalism of the still life genre in such a way that what appears in the microcosm of the photograph is a reflection of what occurs in the macrocosm of the universe. Closely connected to her interests in the moving image, performance and shamanism, the various themes in AQFM perpetually expand to create photographic constellations.
Ndiritu pushes the design of her new installation by incorporating fully-painted gallery walls, as well as her customary painted squares, which she calls ‘Bright Young Things’. These design elements become a backdrop through which Ndiritu discuss two subtexts in the show, firstly ‘painting as a medium of photography’, by creating a fully immersive, painted environment in which to view the photographs; and secondly the contemporary relationship between Europe and Africa seen through use of rephotographed archival images from the Rif War between Spain and Morocco in the early 20th century, which reflects a historic Orientalist viewpoint, which is the foundation for the current problematic relationship of mass migration from both Arab and Sub-Saharan Africa to Europe and the tensions this movement causes on both sides of the Mediterranean. Previous iterations of AQFM were exhibited at locations including Contemporay Art Gallery, Vancouver (2018), Klowden Mann, Los Angeles (2016), Glasgow School of Art (2015), Paris Photo Los Angeles (2015), L’apartment 22, Rabat, Morocco (2014), MAC, Belfast (2014) and La Ira de Dios, Buenos Aires (2014), MACBA Barcelona (2014) for which the first edition was commissioned.
Grace Ndiritu (1982,UK/KEN) currently lives & works in Ghent as an artist in residence at Manoeuvre where she is working around her fashion label COVERSLUT©, a brand that focuses on issues of democracy, race and class politics. Ndiritu studied Textile Art at Winchester School of Art, UK and at De Ateliers, Amsterdam. Recent group shows include CAG Vancouver (2018), Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool (2017), CAMH, Houston Texas (2015), MAC International Art Prize, Belfast (2014), Kulte Gallery, Casablanca (2014), MACBA, Barcelona (2014), 9th Bamako Biennale (2011), International Center of Photography, New York (2009), 8th Dakar Biennale (2008). She was awarded 1st Prize for Landscape Video and Photography, at the Centre for Art and Nature, Spain (2010). Solo exhibitions include, Klowden Mann Gallery, Los Angeles (2016), Glasgow School of Art (Turner Prize season 2015); La Ira De Dios, Buenos Aires (2014), Chisenhale Gallery, London (2007), the 51st Venice Biennale (2005) and Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2005).
Ndiritu has been featured in Phaidon: The 21st Century Art Book (2014) and Apollo Magazine 40 under 40 list. Her work is housed in museum collections such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and Modern Art Museum, Warsaw and private collections such as the King Mohammed VI, Morocco and Walther Collection, New York and Germany. In 2019 she will present her research project ‘THE ARK: HISTORIC ARCHIVE’ at Bluecoat, Liverpool (UK). It is also featured in the new Whitechapel Gallery Documents book: THE RURAL.