Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa begins one-year countdown to opening
As excitement builds in Cape Town, Africa and around the world for one of the most anticipated cultural events on the African continent for many decades, today, on World Tourism Day, 27 September 2016, Zeitz MOCAA announced the one-year countdown to the museum’s grand opening. This is set to be the most significant museum of contemporary art in Africa, and the largest art museum built in Africa in more than 100 years.
First announced in 2013, the ambitious four-year project to convert the historic Grain Silo at the V&A Waterfront into a cutting edge contemporary art museum is officially in the home stretch, having reached the “One Year to Grand Opening” milestone.
The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa will open to the public during Heritage Weekend 2017, holding a four-day Grand Opening from Friday, 22 September to Monday, 25 September. During this time, no entrance fee will be charged.
The Museum, a partnership between the V&A Waterfront and Jochen Zeitz, is the first major museum in Africa dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and its Diaspora, and also the first African institution to acknowledge new mediums through the establishment of different centres and institutes within the overall museum.
On completion, Zeitz MOCAA will house Centres for Costume Institute, Photography, Curatorial Excellence, the Moving Image, Performative Practice, and Art Education. In addition to the different Centres, the museum will also feature a myriad of gallery spaces, a sculpture garden, bookshop, restaurant, technical training areas, research labs, reading rooms etc.
In addition to exhibiting an extensive art collection from some of Africa’s most talented artists, Zeitz MOCAA has sought to create a contemporary art museum that is easily accessible to South Africans and continental visitors. The Museum’s ‘Access for All’ programme will ensure that no one is ever turned away from the Museum due to the inability to afford admission.
“At its heart, Zeitz MOCAA is centred on the promise of creating a museum that showcases the best talent and creativity of Africa and grants access to everyone. With less than one year to go to the Museum’s Grand Opening, we are seeing our vision of an accessible, contemporary art museum reach fruition,” said David Green, CEO of the V&A Waterfront and Co-Chair of Zeitz MOCAA’s Board of Trustees.
The ‘Access for All’ programme will see visitors under the age of 18 allowed free entrance to the museum all year round, free admission every Wednesday morning for all South Africans and other visitors from the African continent, and half price admission for all on ‘Late Night Fridays’. The Museum is removing financial barriers to entry for those who may not have the resources to visit otherwise.
Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Museum, Mark Coetzee said: “This Museum is a symbol, an icon, of the confidence we feel about being African, the confidence that we feel about our place in the world. And that’s what makes this so extraordinary. We have been given an opportunity to create a museum for all, and we must guarantee Access for All. The right to cultural participation and access to the artefacts that represent our diverse cultures is deeply rooted in human rights. This is a principle that Zeitz MOCAA will uphold, defend and keep as a central mission of its reason for being.”
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NOTES TO THE EDITOR
Dates and times
Grand Opening Weekend: 22 to 25 September 2017 (free for all)
Operating hours beginning on 27 September 2017:
• Wednesday to Monday 10 am to 6 pm; closed Tuesdays
• “Late Night Fridays” to be announced (open until 10 pm)
Access for All:
• Free admission to all under 18s
• Free admission from 10 am to 1 pm every Wednesday, for all South Africans and people from the African continent
• Half price admission for all on ‘Late Night Fridays’
Admission and membership rates will be announced in 2017.
ABOUT THE ZEITZ MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART AFRICA
Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) is a public not-for-profit cultural institution. Our unique vision focuses on Africa and its global influence.
Our mission is to collect, preserve, research, and exhibit cutting edge contemporary art from Africa and its Diaspora, to develop supporting educational and enrichment programs for all, to encourage intercultural understanding and guarantee access for all.
It is the first major museum in Africa dedicated to contemporary art.
Zeitz MOCAA was established in 2013 through a partnership of the V&A Waterfront and Jochen Zeitz and is generously funded by Growthpoint Properties, Jochen Zeitz, Public Investment Corporation (PIC) acting on behalf of the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF), V&A Waterfront, and Zeitz Collection.
The Zeitz Collection acts as the founding collection of the museum. Mark Coetzee is the Executive Director and Chief Curator of Zeitz MOCAA. Zeitz MOCAA is housed at the Scheryn Pavilion by the Bascule Bridge, V&A Waterfront. On 22 to 25 September 2017, Zeitz MOCAA will open in the transformed heritage listed Silo building, repurposed through a design by Heatherwick Studio, in the Silo District of the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town.
Zeitz MOCAA is registered Public Benefit Organisation (PBO number: 930050395). The Zeitz MOCAA Board is comprised of David Green (Co-Chair), Jochen Zeitz (Co-Chair), Suzanne Ackerman-Berman, Isaac Julien (Artist Trustee), Wangechi Mutu (Artist Trustee), Gasant Orrie, Albie Sachs, Anton Taljaard, and Mark Coetzee (Ex-Officio).
A permanent home for the Zeitz Collection
South African-born Mark Coetzee is the Executive Director and Chief Curator of Zeitz MOCAA, and comes with an international track record for directing cultural institutions that define best practice. These include the “Miami Model” with the Rubell Family Collection and a new ground breaking corporate responsibility model through PUMAVision.
Zeitz MOCAA is the first major museum in Africa dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and its Diaspora, and also the first African institution to acknowledge new mediums through the establishment of different centres and institutes within the overall museum.
Following the announcement at last year’s gala fundraiser of the establishment of a Costume Institute, other centres include the Centres for Photography, for Curatorial Excellence, for the Moving Image, for Performative Practice, and for Art Education.
In addition to the different Centres, the museum will also feature a myriad of gallery spaces, a sculpture garden, bookshop, restaurant, technical training areas, research labs, reading rooms etc.
A project as visionary and ambitious as this would never have been realised without the generous support of companies and individuals. Monies raised through fundraising events, such as the gala, will be invested in the Zeitz MOCAA Endowment for the purpose of ensuring free entry to anyone wishing to see this vast, culturally valuable one-of-a-kind art institution.
Built in 1921, the 57m-tall re-imagined historic Grain Silo will itself be a work of art upon completion, with internationally acclaimed architectural designer Thomas Heatherwick breathing new life into the 95-year-old industrial structure that will become the art museum.
On its completion, Zeitz MOCAA will be spread over nine floors, of which 6,000 square meters will be dedicated to gallery spaces and 3,500 to site specific exhibition spaces. Through an entire floor dedicated to education, the museum will develop a new art-loving, museum-going audience.