BERLIN 2022 /

Grace Ndiritu


Becoming Plant: The Experience (2022)


Single-channel video installation, sound ● Duration: 26’ ● Co-commissioned by Screen City Biennial, Rønnebæksholm, Onkruid Studio and f.eks. ● Location: Archenhold Observatory, conference room, first floor ● Image credits: Grace Ndiritu, Becoming Plant: The Experience (2022). Video still. Courtesy the artist.

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Becoming Plant: the Experience (2022) is based on documentary footage by the artist, which has been transformed into a film installation specifically for the Archenhold Observatory in Berlin. Accompanied by a soundscore by Jeff Mills, the work follows a group of six dancers and a psychiatrist, who participate in a therapeutic collective experiment with psychedelics, during which they temporarily live together in a former military base. While they are influenced by the plant’s consciousness and each other’s presence, they perform choreography, aligning their naked bodies with each other and with the architectural ruins.

Becoming Plant: The Experience is the most recent development in Ndiritu’s ongoing quest to reintroduce non-rational methodologies of knowledge and inquiry into our experience of art spaces in order to reactivate their forgotten “sacredness.” Having begun with her previous project Healing the Museum (2021), this journey continues with Becoming Plant: the Experience, which seeks to explore novel and ancient ways of thinking about psychedelic plants as healing modalities for mental health issues such as depression. The work serves as a catalyst for discussing wider social and relational issues and as a springboard encouraging us to reflect upon science, spirituality, psychiatry, healing, and healthcare.

Grace Ndiritu

Grace Ndiritu is a British-Kenyan artist whose work seeks to transform our contemporary world. Her works, including The Ark: Center for Interdisciplinary Experimentation; COVERSLUT© fashion and economic project; as well as her performance art series, Healing The Museum, have been shown around the world since 2012. Recently, her debut short film Black Beauty has been selected for several prestigious film festivals including the 72nd Berlinale in the Forum Expanded section (2022) and the 32nd FIDMarseille (2021). Ndiritu has been featured in TIME magazine, Phaidon’s The 21st Century Art Book, BOMB magazine, Art Monthly, and Elephant Magazine. Her work is housed in museum collections such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), The British Council, and The Modern Art Museum (Warsaw). Her writing has been published in her critical theory book Dissent Without Modification (Bergen Kunsthall) in 2021; with the Whitechapel Gallery in their Documents of Contemporary Art anthology series; in the Animal Shelter Journal (Semiotext(e) & MIT Press); Metropolis M; and with the Oxford University Press.

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