02.12.2018

A Home For Contemporary African Art

At the new Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town, the spaces of a former grain silos house the greatest collections of contemporary Africa art worldwide

  • A Home For Contemporary African Art
  • A Home For Contemporary African Art
  • A Home For Contemporary African Art
  • A Home For Contemporary African Art
  • A Home For Contemporary African Art
  • A Home For Contemporary African Art
  • A Home For Contemporary African Art

“We wanted the Museum to be as representative of Africa as possible. To celebrate its history, its culture, its diversity and its future with a focus on art from the 21st century. Most importantly, this is an institution for all of Africa!“.
 
With these words, last September Jochen Zeitz, Co-Chairman of Zeitz MOCAA, inaugurated the world’s largest museum dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora. Located in Cape Town, South Africa, on the beautiful Victoria & Albert Waterfront, the harbor built in 1860 by Prince Alfred, son of Queen Victoria, during the British domination, Zeitz MOCAA is the result of a boldly ambitious project to reimagine a historic grain silo into a major cultural institution which took four years in the making.
 
From preserving the historic architectural legacy of what was once the tallest building in South Africa, to developing a sustainable not-for-profit public cultural institution that preserves, develops and enhances creativity, Zeitz MOCAA is a hugely important cultural landmark that will contribute to a stronger, wider appreciation of Africa’s cultural heritage.
 
The grain silo’s architectural redevelopment from disused industrial building into a cutting-edge contemporary art museum was undertaken by London-based Heatherwick Studio in conjunction with local South African architects.
 
The museum is spread over nine floors and carved out of the monumental structure of the silo complex. The galleries and the cathedral-like atrium space at the centre of Zeitz MOCAA have been carved from the silos’ dense cellular structure of forty-two tubes that pack the building. The development includes 100 galleries, a rooftop sculpture garden, a bookshop, a restaurant and bar, and various reading rooms.
 
The basis of the extensive art on display at the museum is represented by the Zeitz Collection, founded in 2002 by entrepreneur Jochen Zeitz and regarded as one of the most representative collections of contemporary artefacts of and from Africa and its Diaspora. Besides the permanent collection and the temporary exhibitions, Zeitz MOCAA also houses a Costume Institute, and Centres for Photography, Curatorial Excellence, the Moving Image, Performative Practice, and Art Education.
 

Author : The Slowear Journal

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