By Nii B. Andrews
The first museum in the world devoted to contemporary African art (CAA) will open in Cape Town’s Victoria and Albert Waterfront on September 22 2017.
It will be named Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art (Zeitz MOCAA).
The project is the brainchild of Jochen Zeitz – an avid collector of CAA since 2003 and also former chairman and CEO of the sports-apparel brand Puma.
In addition to painting and sculpture, Zeitz MOCAA will focus on art forms especially relevant to Africa at this time: photography; costume; the moving image; and performative practice.
Support for educational programs will also be provided and temporary exhibitions will also be held.
It is interesting that the museum is situated in a transformed silo. The museum will occupy the lower seven floors; the upper eight floors will be occupied by an upscale hotel.
The 42 vast grain silo storage tubes have been astutely transformed by British architect Thomas Heatherwick into the museum’s galleries comprising 102,000 square feet of space.
The museum’s permanent collection will consist of works from Africa’s 54 countries and it’s diaspora in a rotating assemblage sourced mainly from Zeitz’s own vast collection of CAA.
The founding curator of the Zeitz MOCAA, Mark Coetzee, opined that the museum will provide contemporary African artists with a solid platform located in Africa from which they can address the world.
The firebrand Zimbabwean artist Kudzanai Chiurai (an unsparing critic of Robert Mugabe), is the subject of a retrospective at the Zeitz MOCAA opening exhibition in September.