#MoloMOCAA is our series in which we meet the people who work at and visit the museum:
My name is Tammy Langtry, and I am a Curatorial Assistant at Zeitz MOCAA.
Currently, we are all wondering how we can make sense of this world with its constantly shifting plates beneath us. The word ‘radicant’ comes to mind, describing a rooting system which sits above the ground and is able to move and grow in the direction needed. It sits quite closely with the word ‘radical’ and helps us imagine how this word could function in the world (it is quite different to ‘enrooting’, a rooting system which sits deep in the earth).
In learning and creating as a child, I realised I was not quite good (or rather, not very patient) at making art but I was inspired by its history. Seeing how artists respond to the world through creativity, I have always been interested in what inspires them.
As a Curatorial Assistant, I work with the museum team to plan and research the programme of exhibitions. Working with artists, we realise exhibitions which connect us more deeply with their worlds and make space for necessary conversations about ourselves and our collective history.
In thinking about museum exhibitions as a way to show artists’ work, I see it as a space in which to map out words and images as the rooting we use to connect our world. Exhibitions place us, as the viewer, in the centre, seeing recognisable or unrecognisable images or materials which may trigger a memory or direct our thoughts, they root us in the information.
At Zeitz MOCAA, I am to be able to consider the world through its represented histories, with visual language as an essential part of how we consider our legacy, our culture and our presence in the world.
The lockdown has been a trying time but it is also a chance for us to become more radicant. We look at historical monuments and say they don’t represent us and never did, we look at gender norms and we decide to break it, we look at institutions and need to radically shift them. Art is enrooted in these very systems and structures which centre us.
We have seen so many people turn to art-making for themselves and their families. I hope you have turned to other artists’ work to create radicant roots which are able to move and grow in the direction needed. In which direction are these radicant roots moving us?