Date & Time

01 January 70 - 01 January 70

00:00 AM - 00:00 AM

Cape Town (13 November 2017) – Saturday 18 November 2017 will mark the opening of the first international travelling exhibition at Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) titled, Publishing Against the Grain. Zeitz MOCAA is the first contemporary art museum in the country to make a strong commitment to both local and international art.

As part of Zeitz MOCAA’s acquisition policy, the museum collects, preserves, researches and exhibits work from Africa and its Diaspora. Beyond the museum’s collecting policy lies a strong commitment to exhibiting work from around the globe.

“As the largest contemporary art museum in Africa, our commitment to bringing international art to Africa is an essential part of our mission,” says Mark Coetzee, Executive Director and Chief Curator of Zeitz MOCAA. “Zeitz MOCAA will strive to share work from Africa with the world but also bring the world to Africa. This way, our creatives can participate in, and be exposed to, many of the exciting developments of international contemporary practice.”

Publishing Against the Grain is a unique exhibition that provides visitors with a rare opportunity to engage in a variety of conversations from across the globe, touching on issues that are often swept under the rug or kept out of the public eye. Due to the nature of these publications–and the subsequent lack of financial support–many of the projects found within this exhibition have shown extraordinary vitality and would otherwise be very difficult to come by. A selection of key publications was drawn from Independent Curators International’s worldwide network of collaborators. These curators, artists and scholars, all involved in independent publishing, are represented in the exhibition through their own projects and those of others who have influenced their work and school of thought.

In bringing together these projects from around the world, Publishing Against the Grain reveals how the materials and discursive activities surrounding the production of these publications respond to intersecting subjects of contemporary aesthetics, diaspora, sex and gender, gentrification, race, language, and art history.

Appropriately, the collection of books, magazines and journals from independent publishers across the globe will be exhibited in the museum’s Centre for Art Education. Visitors will be allowed to read and reproduce sections of the works using materials and tools within the gallery space, and collate them to produce their own zines or take them home for continued engagement, allowing for the content of the exhibition to exist and circulate beyond the walls of the museum.

“With this exhibition, Zeitz MOCAA hopes to deliver on its ethos of education, enrichment and intercultural understanding, by allowing visitors to interact, reproduce and disseminate what they find most relevant from the exhibition. In turn, we hope that these interactions will help us get a better understanding of the needs of our communities. As a new institution, this exhibition provides a great opportunity for us to be receptive, self-reflexive, and to allow these discussions to have an impact on the future direction of the museum as a site that carries civic responsibilities,” says Sven Christian, the Adriane Iann Assistant Curator of Books and Works on Paper, the organising curator for the presentation of Publishing Against the Grain at Zeitz MOCAA.

Publications that will be exhibited include:

Art Against Art and their nominations Post Capitalism: A Guide to our Future, Telematic Embrace and The Transhumanist Reader
Bisagra and their nomination ramona
Curatorial Dictionary and their nomination
East of Borneo and their nomination  Artes Visuales
Exhausted Geographies and their nomination Scroll
Fillip and their nomination Art-Language
Glänta and their nomination Bidayat
Makhzin and their nominations Souffles, Souffles-Anfas and Top Stories
Our Literal Speed and their nomination Creative Actions
Pages and their nominations Corrections and Clarifications and Counter-Signals
Piseagrama and their nomination Urbânia
Raking Leaves and their nomination Aar Paar
SALT. and their nomination LIES
START JOURNAL and their nomination Uganda Press Photo Award
STATIONARY and their nomination Blackbird (Lenny Kwok)
TRÁFICO VISUAL and their nomination Félix Suazo
WHITE FUNGUS and their nomination Life Is A Rip Off  

Publishing Against the Grain  is an exhibition organised and produced by Independent Curators International (ICI), New York, and initiated by ICI’s Alaina Claire Feldman, Becky Nahom and Sanna Almajedi. The exhibition was made possible with generous support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, ICI’s Board of Trustees and International Forum. The presentation at Zeitz MOCAA has been organised by Sven Christian, Adriane Iann Assistant Curator of Books and Works on Paper at Zeitz MOCAA, and is supported by the American Friends of Zeitz MOCAA, the Zeitz MOCAA Exhibition Endowment Fund, and Zeitz MOCAA members.

Exhibition name  Publishing Against the Grain
Organised and produced by Independent Curators International (ICI),
Initiated by ICI’s Alaina Claire Feldman, Becky Nahom and Sanna Almajedi
Organising Curator at Zeitz MOCAA Sven Christian, Adriane Iann Assistant  Curator of Books and Works on Paper
Run dates Saturday 18 November 2017 – Monday 29 January 2018

For more information on the exhibition, click here.  


About 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 (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 Independent Curators International (ICI)

Independent Curators International (ICI) produces exhibitions, events, publications, research and training opportunities for curators and diverse audiences around the world.

Established in 1975, ICI is a unique organisation that focuses on the role of the curator as a contextualising force for contemporary art, and one that develops infrastructure for contemporary artists and art discourse in different contexts throughout the world. ICI connects emerging and established curators, artists and art spaces into collaborative networks that are relevant regionally and inscribed within an international framework.

Inspiring fresh ways of seeing and contextualising contemporary art, ICI provides access to the people and practices that are key to current developments in the field. Over the last 40 years, ICI exhibitions, publications, training programs and research initiatives for curators–as well as hundreds of free events for everyone–have taken place in 400 cities and 55 countries. ICI has supported over 1,000 curators, 2,600 artists, and worked with 550 art spaces. And there are currently over 360 alumni of the Curatorial Intensive, ICI’s professional development programme, who are based in 64 countries and represent the future of the curatorial field.

The ICI network keeps growing, one collaboration at a time. Last year alone, ICI exhibitions were seen in over 37 venues in 16 countries. Emerging curators from 24 countries participated in the Curatorial Intensive, with courses held in Addis Ababa, Mexico City, Moscow and New York, and more than 60 curators and artists contributed to ICI’s talks, public programmes, and research initiatives.

For more information please visit