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Inside Zeitz MOCAA : The View From Our Private Tour (video)
Everything you need to know about the Zeitz MOCAA museum.
It’s the cultural launch of the decade… it’s talk of the (Cape) Town… it’s the grand opening of the new Zeitz MOCAA (Museum of Contemporary Art Africa), which is happening this long weekend. From Friday, 22 September to Monday, 25 September 2017, everyone was invited to visit the museum for free.
We’ve collated everything you need to know about the city’s boldest new cultural institution, the Zeitz MOCAA, at the V&A Waterfront. We’ve got all the details, from opening times, exhibition insights, artists on show in the gallery spaces and even a few quirky insights you heard straight from us.
WHAT ALL THE EXCITEMENT IS ABOUT
In addition to its grand appearance, Zeitz MOCAA houses the largest collection of contemporary African art on the continent and is the only museum of its kind in Africa.
Much of the art exhibited across some 6500 square metres of gallery space belongs to German businessman and African art enthusiast, Jochen Zeitz, who is also the main funder of this iconic new institution that comprises some 100 different gallery spaces.
AN ARCHITECTURAL MASTERPIECE
What makes the space more spectacular is that it used to be an old grain silo, built in the 1920s, and was once the tallest building in Sub-Saharan Africa. It has been ingeniously re-imagined and redesigned into what is no small architectural feat. The design mind responsible for turning this mass of concrete into what is set to become a cultural landmark at the Waterfront, in Cape Town and on the continent, is renowned British architect Thomas Heatherwick. Called the “Pied Piper of Architecture” by Vanity Fair magazine last year, he has also been commissioned to design Google’s new headquarters.
Source Credit: George Prassas
On the outside, the concrete tubes are topped with jewel-like geometric windows. Once inside, before even seeing the art collections, it’s possible to spend hours admiring the converted concrete, steel and glass interior. The cylindrical tubes sawed open are the most arresting feature of the atrium. Your best view is via the slick lifts that whiz you to the different floors of the museum.
You can also access the exhibition floors by winding up or down the narrow, shiny black steel staircase. The stairs were dropped in piece by piece from the top into the reinforced silo.
The basement of the museum deserves its own mention; this maze of tunnels used to house the conveyor belts that moved the grain from one section to another and allows you to see the funnels from which the grain would have flowed.
Source Credit: George Prassas
You could spend days marveling at the myriad exhibitions. See the work of some of the most respected artists working today, including Nicholas Hlobo, Cyrus Kabiru, Hank Willis Thomas, Jody Paulsen, Kendell Geers and William Kentridge, to name just a few. Nandipha Mntambo’s solo exhibition, which spans five rooms is unmissable, while Kudzanai Chiurai’s mixed-media work goes right around the floor. The space will also host performance art pieces, on occasion. Cape Town’s Thania Petersen is one of 41 artists whose work features in the All Things Being Equal collection.
Source Credit: George Prassas | Artist: Mary Sibande
Source Credit: George Prassas | Artist: Athi-Patra Ruga
Source Credit: George Prassas | Artist: Nandipha Mntambo
Source Credit: George Prassas | Artist: Kendell Geers
More than a showcase of the continent’s best art, Zeitz MOCAA aims to be welcoming space for all. Entry to the museum is free for under-18s and there’s an art education centre for school children in the basement, complete with a designated drop-off zone. The museum also offers guided audio tours for visitors.
A restaurant on the 6th floor, leading to the Rooftop Garden, which will also be used for events. It opens on 1 December 2017 and will accommodate 200 guests and can be booked for events. Opening times are Wednesdays to Mondays from 10am to 5pm.
A guided tour of the architecture, once the museum is open to the public.
For more information call 087 350 4777 or email info@zeitzmocaa.
Get the first glimpse of Cape Town's newest visual art museum, The Norval Foundation in Steenberg.
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