For press and business requests, email to:

Patrons can email:


Nietzsche writes: ‘A man is least himself when he speaks in his own name. Give him a mask and he speaks the truth.’

KIRAC is an art collective: our core business is making films, released as KIRAC episodes. KIRAC films are made by film director Stefan Ruitenbeek, writer Kate Sinha and other members artist collective. KIRAC also produces podcasts, texts and events.

The first KIRAC film appeared on YouTube in 2016. But we began shooting back in 2012, for a film about indigenous rock paintings in South Africa at the time of colonisation; this film is still in production. In 2014, shooting began with Stefan Simchowitz, a well-known art dealer in Los Angeles. This film appeared as a KIRAC episode 8, in 2017. So far, Kirac has released 27 films. Its latest episode, number 27, features renowned French author Michel Houellebecq.

KIRAC is in search of love, in the form of truth. It uses that sincerest and most impossible Enlightenment fetish of all: dialectics. In other words: the belief that the truth can and will emerge only from reasonable discussion; the belief, therefore, that discussion and criticism is always permitted, and that in the end, each opponent is really an ally in this overriding search for truth. 

It is also KIRAC’s belief that role-play, fiction, and conceptions of things outside of ourselves – such as a work of art – have an important function in finding truth and portraying art. Talking to people about art is a meaningful way to understand those people, including oneself. Other’s people’s interpretations of KIRAC are an intrinsic part of KIRAC’s artistic research. Therefore, opinions of press or film participants are also incorporated into the films. In this process, the label ‘art critic’ is very helpful, a ‘mask’ in true Nietzschean fashion.

Stefan Ruitenbeek

My films are about extreme openness and honesty. I am interested in people, and how they want to show themselves. I don’t judge them in that. At least, that’s my goal. That’s how the artwork becomes the best. People like to show themselves in my work, precisely because I don’t make them subjects in a fact-based documentary. Fact and fiction intermingle, giving desires and reality an artistic dimension. So it becomes something one can reflect on in a work of art. A curiosity about what I, Stefan Ruitenbeek the artist, will “make” of them also plays a part, in addition to the desire to be viewed and experienced through a different lens.

In that process of filmmaking, it is essential that I do not impose a script on people or demand that they play a role. They can play themselves, and, if they want, they may present themselves in a role. I capture those events the same way a documentary filmmaker does, and in the editing process a subjective collage is created.

The struggle with the domains of art has a long history and creates constant change. Avant Garde; the confrontational dialectical theater of Bertolt Brecht; the subjective gonzo journalism of Hunter S. Thompson. Art constantly seeks – and finds – new spaces.


With your donations we produce these cultural activities. Patrons get courtesy access to films and events. You can become a patron here: https://www.keepingitrealartcritics.com/wordpress/support/

When did KIRAC start?

The first KIRAC film appeared on YouTube in 2016. But we began shooting back in 2012 for a film about indigenous rock paintings in South Africa at the time of colonisation; this film is still in production. In 2014, shooting began with Stefan Simchowitz, a well-known art dealer in Los Angeles. This film appeared as a KIRAC episode 8, in 2017.

Why is it called Keeping It Real Art Critics?

The name Keeping It Real Art Critics is a roll we play and a form of self-mockery. It also says something about how KIRAC views truth-telling and art. In our first films, we portray ourselves as art critics who, frustrated with a commercial and superficial art world, do not allow themselves any modesty. These art critics think they know everything better and consider their criticism to be better art than the art they criticise. Saying about yourself that you are “real” while you think others are not is considered presumptuous in the art world. It is at once a joke on the false modesty and deftness of the art world, and a joke on one’s own rightness. 


People often ask for Kirac’s poëtica. What are your rules for art? The true answer lies in the shape of the Episodes. Explicit formulations of our Poëtica can be found in our Academy work and in some of or texts. In this text-piece about Ayn Rand, Kate Sinha articulates a poëtica that applies to KIRAC.


Between 2016 and 2022, our films on YouTube alone racked up 140,000 hours and 1.8 million views. Since 2018, it is harder to measure because we also stream through channels without a view-count. Our audience is 50/50 Dutch and international. Our audience is highly educated, and there are many young artists and humanities scholars among our audience.

Other people about KIRAC

Sean Tatol, The Manhattan Art Review

“Rather, the videos achieve an odd sense of realism, a reflection of the world back at itself at time when it seems almost impossible to grasp anything as it really is, and as a result these semi-performative semi-documentary intrusions into the art world become something that often feels more artistically potent and relevant, even “new”, than what the vast majority of what the arts currently has to offer, whether one is in Amsterdam or New York.”

Paul van Esch, art advisor
“Kirac is one of the most promising projects in recent years. Rebellious, perversely funny and crazy independent. Exactly what the art world, which suffocates itself following and examining its own codes, needs. Watching those same codes and sources be questioned so exactingly is painful and hilarious at the same time. Kirac has the potential of growing so much bigger and evolving into a great and profound work of art on the psychology of our time, using the art world, the artist, the work and their environment as metaphors. These are the only art films I watch through to the end. The fact that this film has an art dealer (Stefan Simchowitz, Episode 8) as its subject is an added bonus.”

More: Text, Merch, Wikipedia, Academia


Stichting Cultuurbord KIRAC: NL48 BUNQ 2044 4303 71


Stefan Ruitenbeek, Keeping It Real Art Critics, KIRAC
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

KvK (Chamber of Commerce): 62934937
btw-id (VAT): NL001777492B79
Ob-number: NL152060297B02

ING Bank, Nederland
IBAN: NL65INGB0007061032

Partners and Sponsors

Stichting Cultuurbord
Mondriaan Fonds

Social Media



This website was made by Tijm Lanjouw
Link to old website