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. Supported in 2019 by Manoeuvre artists residency program in Gent, Belgium.
As part of our collaboration with Bergen Art Book Fair, Bergen Kunsthall is publishing Grace Ndiritu’s collection of interviews, ‘Dissent Without Modification’ as a book which will be released in January 2021.
"Dissent Without Modification" is 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" and the spread of the Occupy movement and the birth of Black Lives Matter through the recent Ferguson and Missouri uprisings. Dissent Without Modification 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, Grace Ndiritu takes readers on a circular, revealing expedition into the recent past, sharing its impact with a new generation of readers.
This series of events with Grace Ndiritu is part of the Speculative Histories program, which investigates historical and contemporary practices of feminist organising, intersectional anti-racist and queer perspectives, suggesting alternatives for institutional practices based on a re-shifted lens on the past. Throughout autumn and winter, we present talks, screenings, texts and performances with interdisciplinary connections to dance, literature and fashion.
Grace Ndiritu is a British-Kenyan artist whose artworks are concerned with the transformation of our contemporary world. Ndiritu has been featured in TIME magazine, Phaidon’s The 21st Century Art Book, Art Monthly, Apollo Magazine’s “40 under 40” list and Elephant magazine.. Her work is housed in museum collections such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), the British Council, the Modern Art Museum (Warsaw). Her writing has been published in her debut non-fiction book Dissent Without Modification (2021) Bergen Kunsthall, Norway; Whitechapel Gallery's Documents of Contemporary Art anthology series; The Paris Review; Le Journal Laboratoires d'Aubervilliers; Animal Shelter Journal, Semiotext(e) & MIT Press; Metropolis M and The Oxford University Press.
Part of Re-Imagine Europe, co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union. Re-Imagine Europe is initiated by Sonic Acts (NL) and coordinated by Paradiso (NL) in collaboration with Elevate Festival (AT), Lighthouse (UK), INA GRM (FR), Kontejner (HR), Landmark / Bergen Kunsthall (NO), A4 (SK), Disruption Network Lab (DE) and Ràdio Web MACBA (ES)