INTERVIEW on Thursday 29 April 2021 at 8pm on Instagram Live (with Monika Szewczyk, director of de Appel)

First welcomed to de Appel in the winter of 2019 at our presentation of the book THE RURAL, the multifaceted artist and alum of de Ateliers Grace Ndiritu returns for a special interview to offer fresh perspective on our times. In hand, on our minds and on offer through de Appel’s (web)shop are Grace Ndiritu's new book of interviews, DISSENT WITHOUT MODIFICATION as well as selections from her COVERSLUT© line of clothing.


Dissent Without Modification: The 1990s 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: The 1990s 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: The 1990s Grace Ndiritu takes readers on a circular, revealing expedition into the recent past, sharing its impact with a new generation of readers.


COVERSLUT© is a fashion and economic research project from Grace Ndiritu. It focuses on dealing with issues of race, gender and class politics. It incorporates Capitalist, Pay What You Can and Ethical/Environmental strategies into its economic framework. The concept for COVERSLUT© is inspired by Ndiritu's book on youth culture Dissent Without Modification. 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. The 1st edition of COVERSLUT© was supported by Manoeuvre in Ghent, Belgium. The collection is now available de Appel's (web)shop.

About Grace Ndiritu

Grace Ndiritu is a British-Kenyan artist whose artworks are concerned with the transformation of our contemporary world, including the impact of globalisation and environmental justice, through her films, photography, paintings and social practice projects with refugees, migrants and indigenous groups. Works including The Ark: Center for Interdisciplinary Experimentation; COVERSLUT© fashion and economic project; and performance art series, Healing The Museum, have been shown around the world since 2012. Last year, Ndiritu declared The Year of Black Healing (2020/2021) "to counterbalance the co-opting of Black Culture by politicians to promote their own agendas,” including French President Macron’s statement that 2020/2021 would be the year of Africa across French territory, which evades his promise, in the Macron report of 2017, to repatriate museum objects to Africa.

Recent solo exhibitions and performances include Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool (2019), S.M.A.K. & M.S.K., Belgium (2019), Eastside Projects, Birmingham (2018), CAG Vancouver (2018), Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona (2017), Museum Modern of Art, Warsaw (2014), Musee Chasse & Nature and Centre Pompidou, Paris (2013). Ndiritu has been featured in TIME magazine, Phaidon’s The 21st Century Art Book, Art Monthly, Apollo Magazine’s “40 under 40” list, Elephant magazine, and The Sunday Times Radio Show with Mariella Frostrup. Her work is housed in museum collections such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), The British Council, The Modern Art Museum (Warsaw), and private collections such as the King Mohammed VI Collection in Morocco and The Walther Collections in New York and Germany. Her experimental art writing and images have been published in her non-fiction book Dissent Without Modification (Bergen Kunsthall), The Whitechapel Gallery in the Documents of Contemporary Art anthology series; The Paris Review; Le Journal Laboratoires d'Aubervilliers; Animal Shelter Journal, Semiotext(e); The MIT Press; Metropolis M; and The Oxford University Press. Grace Ndiritu studied at de Ateliers, Amsterdam: guest tutors included Marlene Dumas (painter), Steve McQueen (film director), Tacita Dean (artist) and Stan Douglas (artist).

"Dissent Without Modification: The 1990s is a self-portrait through interlocution. No single interview could achieve as rich a profile of Grace Ndiritu as that generated by these seven conversations. In that, it is an exceptional document, one of which many artists might rightly feel jealous." –Hettie Judah