GHENT: HOW TO LIVE TOGETHER
Artist Grace Ndiritu is examining how the site of the former Caermersklooster, where the interests of the different people and institutions who use or own the site are in conflict, can serve as a model for the practice of commoning.
Since it became public last year that the province of East Flanders is planning to sell its part of the building, Grace Ndiritu, together with a lawyer from Jubilee vzw, immersed herself in the history of the monastery and its historic and current users.
There have been different points in history in which inhabitants have used the space as a place for living, spiritual practice and sharing intellectual and artistic ideas; particularly in the 15th century, the 1970s and in the present day form of Kunsthal Ghent and the Pandemisten occupation.
Archive material from all these periods will be on view in Kunsthal Gent throughout this autumn, from Sep 24 until 9 January 2022 and will keep growing. Donations are welcome!
From 7 september onwards, the artist is organising a series of activities in Kunsthal Gent around her research. The aim is to find a peaceful resolution to the situation that has been building, in the framework of a Truth and Reconciliation process.
Events are free (except the screening with Art Cinema OFFoff) but limited in numbers. Please register in advance via the link above.
Ghent: How To Live Together, in collaboration with Jubilee vzw, is part of Ndiritu's ongoing body of work Healing The Museum. Realised in the context of Kunsthal Gent's Development Programme.
Tuesday 7th September - 7pm to 9.30pm
A Therapeutic Townhall Meeting (ENG)
In this playful performance, Grace Ndiritu will use meditation, letter writing and word-play to collectively unpack what the Truth and Reconciliation process means in the context of the ongoing dispute over the Caermersklooster site.
Monday 18 October - 7pm to 9pm (location TBC)
Findings: A Night of Revelations
At this related event, SOgent will present the findings of Miss Miyagi, an urban design company who were hired by the City of Gent in 2019 to do research on the Het Pand site and develop scenarios for its future use. Grace Ndiritu and KHG will give a short talk to contextualize how this event fits within the wider aims of the Season of Truth and Reconciliation.
Monday 25th October - 8pm to 10.30pm
Contested land and Indigenous land rights (NL & ENG)
Screenings by OFFoff Art Cinema, curated by Grace Ndiritu and Jubilee. Including In ‘t Patershol (1977) and The Last Movie (Dennis Hopper, 1971).
Tuesday 2nd November - 7pm to 9pm (doors open from 6pm)
Local Knowledge (NL & ENG)
A fascinating talk by local residents sharing their personal archives and stories of living in Patershol. With Norbert Detaeye (Dekenij Patershol), Luc Rogiest (Pandinist in the 70ies), Emilie De Vlam (current Pandemist). From 6 pm onwards, the archival presentation about the monastery (gathered by Grace Ndiritu and Jubilee) is open for a visit.
Thursday 25th November - 7pm to 9pm
Holistic Reading room (ENG)
Group reading of Giorgio Agamben’s philosophical book on the law of living together - The Highest Poverty: Monastic Rules and Form-of-Life.
Friday 10th December - 7pm to 10pm
Public Debate: Commoning, Property Law and Indigenous Land Rights in the Belgian Context (ENG)
A public debate on ideas of Commoning, the Indigenous perspective on shared resources and what we can learn from it in relation to the history and social planning of Paterhols up to the present day the sale of Het Pand. With Prof. Marie-Sophie De Clippele VUB, historian Rafaël Verbuyst UG and social urban planner Jorik De Wilde UG.
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 and COVERSLUT© fashion and economic project have been exhibited since 2012. Recent solo shows and performances include Musee Moderne d’Art, Paris (2021), Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool (2019), S.M.A.K. & M.S.K., Ghent (2019), Africa Museum, Tervuren (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 experimental art writing and images have been published in her non-fiction book Dissent Without Modification (Bergen Kunsthall) in 2021.
Jubilee is an artist-run platform that provides continuous support for the work of six artists, while hosting others on a project base. Research and collaboration are considered essential values within the organisation. These shared interests lead to collective reflection and research projects that focus on the conditions of artistic production.
Caveat (2017-ongoing), Jubilee’s most encompassing collective research project to date, reflects and acts on the ecology of artistic practice. In the framework of this project Jubilee invites and closely collaborates with artistic trajectories in an ambition to collectively re-think and respond to the socio-economic and legal context of our work and cultural positions in a broad sense. Caveat regularly opens up to the public through reading rooms and public moments.
Image credit: group of protesters at the Aboriginal land rights demonstration, Parliament House, Canberra, 30 July 1972