Our 50-museums list continues with new upcoming museums which created waves of excitement and wonder in the 2017-2018 autumn-winter season. Our journey starts with the Zeitz MOCAA, Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, and will continue in the following weeks with the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Tate St Ives and China Design Society and Japan Yayoi Kusuma Museum. Let’s have a look at Zeitz MOCAA together, one of the most significant developments in the art sector, which is opened to the public this week.
The World’s Largest Museum Dedicated to Contemporary Art from Africa and Its Diaspora
Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town, South Africa
We are in Cape Town, South Africa. A building located in the heart of the city, in picturesque Victoria and Alfred waterfront hosts long-waited Zeitz MOCAA Museum of Contemporary Art. Founded by German collector Jochen Zeitz, this museum located in iconic Grain Silos building opened its doors to the public very recently, on the 22th of September. With its 9.500 square metres building, provocative opening exhibits and wide collection, Zeitz MOCAA has already become a rising star of African and global art scene.
Zeitz MOCAA is the first museum that is built to host and display Contemporary Art of Africa and its diaspora in its continent. Officially announced in 2013, it was founded in collaboration with the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront and Jochen Zeitz. After more than 4 years of making, Zeitz MOCAA is situated in historical Grain Silo Complex which was builded in 1921. One of the agricultural and industrial symbols of the city, the complex was also Africa’s tallest structure for more than a half century, and played a key role in the economic growth of the continent. This factory which served as a center for continent’s grain production until 2001 was abondened and disused until 2013. Now it is home of one of the most important contemporary art museums of the World.
The building consists of 9-floors, and its body made of wide circular cells and a Cathedral-like atrium attracts as much attention as its collection and exhibitions. The building was restored by London-based Haetherwick Studio. In its 9.500 square metres space, the museum offers to the public an open-air terrace exhibition area, state art collection stores and restoration areas, a bookshop, restaurant/bars and reading rooms. The executive director and chief curator of the Museum, Mark Coetze underlines the amount of hard work put in the making and setting of the museum by more than 1.000 people.
One of the major patrons of the museum, Robert Redford congratulates the V&A waterfront and his friend Johan Zeitz on this outstanding accomplishment, the first major museum for contemporary African and diaspora art. ‘’I can’t imagine a better place than Cape Town to represent African art, but also to bring international artists to this amazing city to celebrate unity within the arts. I’m excited to participate as a patron and my hope is that we can find a way to collaborate with Zeitz MOCAA Institute of the Moving Image so we will be able to create a stronger voice for the arts worldwide,” he says. Another patron, Kofi Annan underlines the museum’s leading role and says ‘’by providing a platform for the incredibly talented and passionate artists across Africa and beyond, this museum fills a critical gap in the continent’s art scene. I am proud to be part of this journey.”
Zeitz MOCAA starts its journey with a mission to reflect lives and stories of people living in 54 African countries and represent Africa in global community. In that respect, the museum aims at collecting, preserving and exhibiting contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora, organizing international exhibitions to increase dialogue, and developing education programs to boost access to art. As a non-profit institution, Zeitz MOCAA’s wide art collection comes from Jochen Zeitz’s world-renowned personal collection. In addition to this collection that meets visitors in over 100 galleries, the museum also houses different departments such as the Art Education Center, Curatorial Studies, Photography and Costume Enstitute.
Artworks and temporary exhibitions that greet us in the museum reflect the museum’s mission at its best. Nijerian-English artist Yinka Shonibare MBE’s canvases and Cape Town-born artist Nicholas Hlano’s huge sculpture in rubber and ribbon are only a few examples that reveal the richness of exhibits. Moreover, the museum is also hosting 3 provocative opening exhibitions; Kudzanai Cjhiurai’s retrospective of (22 September-31 March 2018), world renowed photographer Edson Chagas’ ‘’Luanda, Enclopedic City’’ (22 September-27 January 2018) and South African artist Nandipha Mntambo’s retrospective (22 September-27 January 2018), all shows us different ways of looking at Africa.
The list of artists from Africa and its diaspora, whose works are displayed in museum’s floors under the title “All things being equal”:
Leonce Raphael Agbodjélou (Benin), Ghada Amer (Egypt), El Anatsui (Ghana) , Joël Andrianomearisoa (Madagascar), Roger Ballen (United States of America), Njideka Akunyili Crosby (Nigeria), Godfried Donkor (Ghana), Hasan and Husain Essop (South Africa), Frohawk Two Feathers (United States of America), Kendell Geers (South Africa), Frances Goodman (South Africa), Lungiswa Gqunta (South Africa), Nicholas Hlobo (South Africa), Taiye Idahor (Nigeria), Rashid Johnson (United States of America), Isaac Julien (United Kingdom), Cyrus Kabiru (Kenya), William Kentridge (South Africa), Glenn Ligon (United States of America), Liza Lou (United States of America), Mack Magagane (South Africa), Misheck Masamvu (Zimbabwe), Mohau Modisakeng (South Africa), Daniella Mooney (South Africa), Sethembile Msezane (South Africa), Zanele Muholi (South Africa) , Wangechi Mutu (Kenya), Gareth Nyandoro (Zimbabwe), Chris Ofili (United Kingdom), Owanto (Gabon), Jody Paulsen (South Africa), Thania Petersen (South Africa), Jeremiah Quarshie (Ghana), Athi-Patra Ruga (South Africa), Chéri Samba (Democratic Republic of Congo), Mary Sibande (South Africa), Julien Sinzogan (Benin), Penny Siopis (South Africa), Marlene Steyn (South Africa) , Hank Willis Thomas (United States of America), Kehinde Wiley (United States of America)
On the Zeitz’s Collection and Jochen Zeitz
The Zeitz Collection was founded in 2002 by business entrepreneur Jochen Zeitz and is one of the most representative collections of contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora. Its mandate is to collect and preserve contemporary cultural artefacts of Africa. The Zeitz Collection is held and exhibited in spaces such as Switzerland, Spain, South Africa, and through an extensive presentation of art at Segera Retreat in Kenya. The Zeitz Collection collaborates on an ongoing basis with the Zeitz Foundation for Intercultural Ecosphere Safety. As part of the 4Cs philosophy (conservation, community, culture, commerce) the Zeitz Foundation supports creative activities that strengthen intercultural relationships and understanding, and raise awareness of cultural diversity, and inspires others to act in kind.
The Zeitz Collection curator, Mark Coetzee, acts as the cultural specialist for the Zeitz Foundation. Both organisations collaborate on cultural outcomes at the Foundation headquarters based at Segera, Kenya and globally.
Co-Founder and Co-Chair, Zeitz MOCAA
Jochen Zeitz is recognised as one of the world’s leaders in sustainable business practices,conservation and philanthropy. After becoming the youngest CEO in German history to head a public company at the age of 30, Zeitz served 18 years as Chairman and CEO of PUMA. Zeitz turned PUMA from near-bankruptcy into one of the top 3 sporting goods brands in the world, growing sales to $4 billion and share price by 4000%. While at PUMA, Zeitz conceived and pioneered the ground-breaking Environmental Profit and Loss account (E P & L) that puts a monetary value on environmental impacts across a business’ supply chain, inspiring a new internationally-recognised environmentally and socially conscious business model. Zeitz retired from PUMA in 2010 to focus on his environmental, sustainability and philanthropic projects. In 2013 Zeitz co-founded The B Team with Sir Richard Branson, an initiative comprising of some of the world’s top business leaders, including Mohammed Yunus, Mo Ibrahim, Paul Polman and Arianna Huffington, promoting socially and environmentally conscious business practices across the globe. Zeitz is a Board Member of Harley Davidson, Cranemere sustainable investment company, Wilderness Safari, and also served as Board Member and Chair of Sustainability Committees for Kering, the international luxury goods company.
Following his life-long passion for Africa and it’s wildlife, Zeitz opened Segera Conservancy, a 50,000 acre nature retreat in Kenya, and launched Segera Retreat in 2012, a completely sustainable, luxury eco-safari retreat, now considered one of the best safari resorts in the world. As Founder of the Zeitz Foundation, which supports the 4C’s – sustainable solutions that balance conservation, community, culture and commerce – Zeitz has supported the building of 6 eco-sustainable schools (including the winner of LEED’s 2015 “Greenest School in the World” award), a soccer academy, an initiative for inter-tribal understanding and female empowerment, and provided hundreds of educational bursaries for Kenyan children. Zeitz is also Founder of ‘The Long Run’ initiative, a not-for-profit conservation alliance
preserving 12 million acres of wilderness, and touching the lives of 520,000 people, across Africa and the rest of the globe.
In 2013, Zeitz, along with his partners at the V&A Waterfront, started construction of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) in Cape Town, South Africa. Zeitz MOCAA will house The Zeitz Collection, Zeitz’s world-renowned personal collection of cutting edge contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora.
As a published author, Zeitz co-wrote “The Manager and The Monk” with Anselm Grün, which has been translated into 15 languages, and “The Breakthrough Challenge” with John Elkington. Zeitz has received numerous awards during his professional career, including “Entrepreneur of the Year”, 3-times “Strategist of the Year” by the Financial Times, “Trendsetter of the Year” and winner of the “Best of European Business Award”. He was also awarded the Federal Cross of Merit of the Republic of Germany, and was appointed “Honorary Warden of Kenya” by the Kenya Wildlife Service. In 2015, Zeitz was ranked #18 of “The World’s Top 100
Compassionate Business Leaders” by Salt Magazine, awarded for his advocacy of Responsible Capitalism by FIRST Magazine, and in 2016 Zeitz was also included in OOM’s “The World’s 100 Most Inspiring People” list.