Grace Ndiritu at Manoeuvre | Structural change within the arts sector

At the POPPOSITIONS fair in Brussels, running from April 25 to April 28, the 26 participants – galleries, artist initiatives, project spaces, etc. – are invited to work on the theme of “acknowledging one’s privileges towards understanding the struggles of others, and giving space to social bodies that have been silenced, unacknowledged and underrepresented”.


In Brussels, the Anglo-Kenyan artist Grace Ndiritu - whose work encompasses performance, painting, film, photography and research projects - is presenting her project COVERSLUT©, launched in 2018, which looks at fashion and economics to explore issues of race, gender and class politics.


The artist, along with Manoeuvre founders Chris Rotsaert and Nathalie Maelfait, give us the low-down on the project.




The creation process of your work, "working with refugees, migrants and young artists in co-creation", is obviously an initiative that already has a positive effect on these people, but do you wish to spread this message beyond, into the contemporary art world?


“As Poppositions defines itself as a counterpoint to mainstream art fairs, Manoeuvre, who have been working for years around social awareness through co-creative artmaking, feel ready to jump into this challenge, and we think we will fit in perfectly to the fair.”


“This way of working with others should be an obvious process, in every world. At Manoeuvre, it is a natural way of working. We spread it in the contemporary art world by having our artist residency platform, which can be a playground for co-creation in any form.”


Ndiritu’s ideas on institutional critique and structural change within the arts sector inspired the “PAY WHAT YOU CAN” model, which has since been adopted by several art institutions including Eastside Projects, Birmingham - Artists Led Multiverse Summit (2018); Kunsthal Gent will be applying the model to their admission fee for their new building, which opened in spring 2019, and the upcoming Coventry Biennial (UK) in October will also be putting the economic policy into effect. ”




Grace Ndiritu believes strongly that “PAY WHAT YOU CAN should be The New Art Economy as an act of solidarity and togetherness in these difficult times.”