At last I got to walk through some of the galleries at the exciting new Zeitz MOCAA. In a word – go. The design and architecture is revolutionary with remnants of the ancient grain silos perfectly and cleverly preserved. The curated works exciting and evocative, representative of our continent, it’s people, the journey to present day, the challenges, sometimes dark history and incredibly bright future. Bold colours, touches of gold, oversized sculptures and photographs that command a second, and often third, look.
Contemporary modern works with political voice and important messages, sometimes playful, always beautiful. Join a guided group, dance on the glass roof, listen the words spoken, take time to watch the films and pay attention to the details. With 100 galleries spread over nine floors, I know I’ll be back for many return visits and have bought myself a year’s membership. So should you. It’s the era of African art, and the best collection now lives in our city. Now that’s worth celebrating, which we did. Here a glimpse of what I saw in my far too short 1,5 hours tour.
ZeitzMOCAA – the only place to meet.
The new MOCAA gives Cape Town an African answer to New York’s MoMA or London’s Tate and a home for modern African artists from across the continent to display their work. ‘This is a museum for Africa and African artists, and so the fact that it’s being presented on this continent is hugely important,’ says Jochen Zeitz, the director and conservationist who has lent his private collection and name to the museum. ‘Africa has often been defined by outsiders, but this museum gives artists an opportunity to tell their own stories, and provides a different context and perspective for viewers.’
Among MOCAA’s permanent exhibits are paintings, sculptures, photography, costumes and media from Angolan photographer Edson Chagas – who is giving free posters of his work. Also South African–based artist Nandipha Mntambo, Zimbabwean artist and activist Kudzanai Chiurai, William Kentridge and Roger Ballen.
The museum’s interior is as much of a draw as the work it holds with the historic building’s 42x hundred foot tall concrete tubes carefully sliced through to create a cathedral-like chamber, with a glass roof that lets in natural light from its over 100 windows. The result is awe-inspiring, and you’ll need time to marvel at the genius as elevators shoot up and down and the staircase shaped like a drill bit, spirals to the top. ‘The fact that we’ve repurposed an old silo where local goods were once distributed all over the world is a perfect symbol,” Zeitz says. And so it is.
‘This is a museum for Africa and African artists, and so the fact that it’s being presented on this continent is hugely important.’ Jochem Zeitz
The Essential Details
The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa is a contemporary art museum located at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa. It was set to become the largest museum of contemporary African art in the world
- Address: V&A Waterfront, Silo District, S Arm Road, Waterfront, Cape Town, 8001
- Hours: Open today · 10AM–6PM
- Phone: 087 350 4777
- More on the official website: http://zeitzmocaa.museum/
- Read more about the ZeitzMOCCA Director Jochen Zeitz
NOTE: Three top interior pics are by Iwan Baan and taken from the wonderful article on Times Live, Inside Zeitz MOCAA, the museum everyone’s talking about. Do have a read.