Cape Town: This February, an exciting installation comes to the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA). TSIATSIA – searching for connection, by the acclaimed artist El Anatsui, will adorn the museum’s iconic BMW Atrium until the end of the year.
Anatsui’s work breaks away from the traditional cast of sculptural practice to invoke a multi-layered, sensory reimagining of our material world. At 15.6m x 25m, the wall-hanging sculpture is one of the largest he has made using his bottle top technique.
Speaking about the work, Anatsui says: “I want to create something that only has a temporary form – that marks a transient event. Each installation represents just one specific manifestation of an on-going process – like life itself, which is in a constant state of flux.”
October Gallery, Anatsui’s representatives say TSIATSIA – searching for connection was created as a site-specific installation to transform the historic façade of London’s Royal Academy during the summer exhibition of 2013.
“In envisaging the creation of his largest bottle-top work to date, El Anatsui began from the simple notion of the blank canvas upon which artists, throughout the ages, have expressed an endless variety of possible figures, forms, colours, textures and ideas,” says October Gallery in a statement.
The ‘canvas’ comprises eight vertical panels composed of regularly patterned pieces and includes found and recycled metals such as aluminium bottle-tops and printers’ plates, whose elements represent in abstract the strokes and splashes painted upon the piece.
His sculptures have been collected by major international museums including the British Museum (London), the Centre Pompidou (Paris), the de Young Museum (San Francisco), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Guggenheim (Abu Dhabi), Osaka Foundation of Culture (Osaka), the Tate Modern (London), and the Museum of Modern Art (New York).
In 2013, with TSIATSIA – searching for connection, El Anatsui was awarded the prestigious Charles Wollaston Award. Anatsui has also received numerous other honours for his work: In 2014, he was made an Honorary Royal Academician and was elected into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2015, he was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 56th Venice Biennale All the World’s Futures; and in 2016, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Cape Town, and was honoured with the Praemium Imperiale Award for Sculpture in 2017.
The installation is presented in collaboration with October Gallery, London.
TSIATSIA – searching for connection is on show from February to February 2019.
Exhibition title: TSIATSIA – searching for connection
Artist: El Anatsui
Exhibition curators: Julia Kabat, Alistair Kennedy
Exhibition dates: February 2019 – December 2019
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Notes to editors:
About the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa:
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.
Galleries are dedicated to a large cutting-edge permanent collection; temporary exhibitions; and Centres for Art Education, Curatorial Training, 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 Find (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.