Major gifts by Roger Ballen Foundation and Eiger Foundation establish the Centre for Photography at Zeitz MOCAA

Category Zeitz MOCAA Donations
Published on 16 February 2017

Cape Town (16 February 2017) – Ahead of its Grand Opening during South Africa’s Heritage Weekend in September 2017, the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) announces major gifts from the Roger Ballen Foundation and the Eiger Foundation to Zeitz MOCAA’s endowment to establish and support the Centre for Photography.

To date, the gifts are the largest financial donations received by the museum from a foundation. The investment of the donations will contribute to the long-term sustainability of the museum now and for generations to come, and will ensure a committed focus on photography as part of Zeitz MOCAA’s mission.

The Roger Ballen Foundation donation includes:

1 The largest financial gift to Zeitz MOCAA’s endowment from a foundation, to date, to be invested to support the ongoing logistical, exhibition, programming and educational costs of the Centre for Photography

2 One signed edition of all work produced by Roger Ballen from 1968 – 1982, donated to the museum’s permanent collection

3 One signed edition of all works produced by Roger Ballen from now until the artist’s death, donated to the museum’s permanent collection.

“It has been my great desire to contribute to the understanding of photography in South Africa, the country I call home,” says Roger Ballen. “By donating my archive and finances to Zeitz MOCAA, I wish to commit to the ongoing success of this important museum in Africa and ensure that photography is guaranteed a place in the museum’s activities.”

The Eiger Foundation donation includes:

1 The second-largest financial gift to Zeitz MOCAA’s endowment from a foundation, to date, to be invested to establish a full-time Curator of Photography

2 An additional financial gift to endow one gallery in the Centre for Photography

3 One signed edition, donated to the museum’s permanent collection, of every published photograph by Roger Ballen from the following series: Dorps, Small Towns of South Africa; Platteland, Images from Rural South Africa; Outland; Shadow Chamber; Boarding House; and Asylum of the Birds.

“The Eiger Foundation promotes photography as an important art form,” says Leonard O’Brien, the founder of the Eiger Foundation. “By supporting the [Roger Ballen] Centre for Photography and Zeitz MOCAA, the Eiger Foundation can fulfil its mission of promoting a better understanding of the photographic medium for society at large.

In recognition of the enormous support, the Centre for Photography at Zeitz MOCAA has been named the Roger Ballen Foundation Centre for Photography. In honour of the major support by the Eiger Foundation, the Curator of Photography will be named the Eiger Foundation Curator of Photography and one gallery in the Roger Ballen Foundation Centre for Photography will be named the Eiger Foundation Gallery.

The Roger Ballen Foundation Centre for Photography is one of six centres within Zeitz MOCAA that also includes Centres for Art Education, the Moving Image, Performative Practice, Curatorial Excellence, and the Costume Institute. The mission of the Roger Ballen Foundation Centre for Photography is to collect, preserve, research and exhibit cutting-edge contemporary photography, and artworks that use photography, from Africa and its Diaspora; to develop supporting educational and enrichment programmes for all; to encourage intercultural understanding; and guarantee access for all. The Centre will also exhibit temporary exhibitions of photographers from all over the world to expose local audiences and practitioners to the rich legacy of photography globally.

Additional support has been provided by M&C Saatchi Abel to endow a photography gallery, the M&C Saatchi Abel Gallery. The AKO Foundation is supporting the position of Assistant Curator of Photography. An additional Assistant Curator of Photography position is being supported by Mikael Kamras and Fredrik Oweson.

Azu Nwagbogu, the founder and director of Lagos Photo Festival, has been appointed as the Curator at Large of Photography at the Roger Ballen Foundation Centre for Photography. Gcotyelwa Mashiqa has been appointed as the AKO Foundation Assistant Curator of Photography. The Eiger Foundation Curator of Photography position and the Mikael Kamras and Fredrik Oweson Assistant Curator of Photography position have both been advertised and individuals filling these positions will be announced shortly.

As a not-for-profit public cultural institution, donations to Zeitz MOCAA are an integral part of helping the museum fulfil its mission. The convergence of various supporters acts as a blueprint of the manner in which Zeitz MOCAA will fulfil its mission and become sustainable through the collective generosity of local and international communities. The museum is a partnership between the V&A Waterfront and German entrepreneur Jochen Zeitz to create a significant contemporary art museum on the African continent.

“Zeitz MOCAA is honoured to become the guardian and archive of Roger Ballen’s work and the legacy that he leaves through the Roger Ballen Foundation Centre for Photography,” says Azu Nwagbogu, Curator at Large of Photography at Zeitz MOCAA. “Ballen remains an inspiration to photographers seeking a unique visual language and his contribution will ensure a professional platform for photographers from across the African continent. It will enable their work to be collected, preserved and exhibited far into the future.”

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NOTES TO THE EDITOR

About the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA)

Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) is a public not-for-profit contemporary art museum that collects, preserves, researches and exhibits 21st-century art from Africa and its Diaspora; hosts international exhibitions; develops supporting educational and enrichment programmes; encourages intercultural understanding; and guarantees access for all.

More than one hundred galleries, spread over nine floors, are dedicated to a large cutting-edge permanent collection; temporary exhibitions; and Centres for Art Education, Curatorial Excellence, Performative Practice, Photography, the Moving Image, and the Costume Institute.

Zeitz MOCAA was established through a partnership between the V&A Waterfront led by CEO David Green––acting on behalf of Growthpoint Properties Limited and the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF), represented by the Public Investment Corporation Limited (PIC)––and collector Jochen Zeitz. The building was reimagined through a design by the acclaimed London-based Heatherwick Studio. Mark Coetzee serves as the Executive Director and Chief Curator.

The Zeitz MOCAA board consists of David Green and Jochen Zeitz (Co-chairs), Isaac Julien and Wangechi Mutu (Artist Board Members), Suzanne Ackerman, Jody Allen, Jonathan Bloch, Kate Garwood, Pulane Kingston, Gasant Orrie, Albie Sachs, Anton Taljaard, Roger Ross Williams and Mark Coetzee (Ex Officio).

About the Roger Ballen Foundation

The Roger Ballen Foundation is dedicated to the advancement of education of photography in South Africa.

The Foundation creates and supports programmes of the highest quality to further the understanding and appreciation of the medium. Working with artists from around the world, the Foundation’s programme enables students and general audiences to engage with notable contemporary photographic art that would otherwise not be seen in South Africa.

About the Eiger Foundation

The Eiger Foundation provides educational programmes, scholarships, bursaries and awards in relation to art and culture with a particular focus on photography. The Foundation acquires photographic work by aspiring and established artists.

The principal objectives of the Eiger Foundation are the promotion of public awareness and photography as an art form, and, in particular, the promotion and support of a better understanding of the medium.