Grace Ndiritu

Black Beauty: For a Shamanic Cinema
Spain, United Kingdom, Belgium 2021

2-channel video installation, 29 min. English.

African fashion model Alexandra Cartier meets Jorge Luis Borges in a visionary experience. What does the famous Argentine modernist writer have to say about our contemporary ecological and pandemic problems? Black Beauty: For a Shamanic Cinema is an expanded cinema proposal that allows the public to witness and access non-rational states through the creation of art and cinema; as a way of changing their perspective on subjects such as the environment, immigration, and indigenous rights. It relates to Grace Ndiritu’s wider art project Healing the Museum, which serves as a platform for a dialogue between differing ideas of viewing the world through the lens of both postmodernism and modernism. Working from the assertion that museums and cinemas are dying, Grace Ndiritu sees shamanism as a way to re-activate the dying art and cinematic space as a space for sharing, participation, and ethics. From prehistoric to modern times the shaman was not only the group healer and facilitator of peace but also the creative; the artist and filmmaker.

Grace Ndiritu, born in Birmingham in 1982, is a British-Kenyan artist whose artworks are concerned with the transformation of our contemporary world. Her work has been featured in international magazines and is housed in museum collections such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the Modern Art Museum, Warsaw. Her writing on art and politics has been published in her nonfiction book “Dissent Without Modification” (Bergen Kunsthall 2021), in Whitechapel Gallery: Documents of Contemporary Art, and in the Paris Review, among others.

Production Julieta Juncadella, Grace Ndiritu. Production companies Post-Hippie Productions (Birmingham, United Kingdom), Una Presencia (Madrid, Spain). Written and directed by Grace Ndiritu. Cinematography Pablo Paloma. Editing José María Avilés. Sound design Martin Gabriel Scaglia. Sound José María Avilés. Production design Pigmento Studio. Costumes Andrea Celda Laurent-Atthalin. Make-up Mary Correa Alcalá. Casting Julieta Juncadella. Production manager Elisa Celda Laurent-Atthalin. Commissioned by Artscouncil England, Kunstencentrum Vooruit (Belgium), Coventry Biennale of Contemporary Art, Nottingham Contemporary Arts Center (United Kingdom). Executive producer Julieta Juncadella. With Aida Welle (Alexandra Cartier), Aida Welle (Karen Roberts), Emilio Linder (Jorge Luis Borges), Lucas Azpurgua (Carl De Long), Emile Massieu Yanes (Tony), Nicolás Celda Laurent-Atthalin (Paco), Andrea Celda Laurent-Atthalin (Photographer ), Marielena Correa Alcalá (Makeup girl).

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2003: The Nightingale (7 min.). 2004: Desert Storm (5 min.). 2007: Natural Disasters (Urban Myths, Urban Legends) (5 min.). 2009: Journeys North: Pole to Pole, (6 min.). 2010: A Week in the News: 7 places we think we know, 7 news stories we think we understand (35 min.). 2015: Raiders of The Lost Ark (45 min.). 2021: Black Beauty: For a Shamanic Cinema.

Photo: © Grace Ndiritu