The V&A Waterfront and Jochen Zeitz announced a unique partnership to create a major new cultural institution that will focus on collecting, preserving, researching, and exhibiting cutting edge contemporary art from Africa and its Diaspora.
The museum will be named Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) in honour of the renowned Zeitz Collection, which will form the museum’s founding collection.
Zeitz MOCAA, a new not-for-profit institution, will be housed in the historic Grain Silo at the V&A Waterfront. Built in 1921, and at 57m tall, the Grain Silo remains an icon of the Cape Town skyline.
Zeitz MOCAA will comprise over 9,500 square meters (102,000 square feet) placing it among leading contemporary art museums worldwide. Zeitz MOCAA will be spread over nine floors, of which 6,000 square meters (65,000 square feet) will be dedicated to exhibition space. Through an entire floor dedicated to education, the museum will develop a new art-loving, museum-going audience.
Considered by many to be the leading collection of contemporary art from Africa and its Diaspora, Jochen Zeitz will commit his collection in perpetuity, underwrite the running costs of the Museum and provide a substantial acquisition budget to allow the Museum to acquire new important artworks over time to remain on the edge of contemporary cultural production.
As the most visited site in Africa, with over 24 million visitors annually, the V&A Waterfront is the perfect venue to share the cultural artifacts and ideas of Africa with the world.
Until the extensive renovations to the Silo complex are complete, selections from the Zeitz Collection will be presented at Zeitz MOCAA Pavilion, a museum-quality temporary exhibition space also at the V&A Waterfront.
The inaugural exhibition which opens at Zeitz MOCAA Pavilion on 23 November, will present the work of Swazi artist Nandipha Mntambo.
The height of the Grain Silo and its strong silhouette gives it a character that has set it apart as an unusual structure within the V&A Waterfront. The reuse of the structure to house Zeitz MOCAA combines ingenuity, resourcefulness and beauty in a way that will be unique for Africa and give greater respect to the work displayed.
Zeitz MOCAA forms part of a master plan for the Silo district that includes mixed-use developments of residential, commercial, leisure and hotel property with the transformed Grain Silo as the central focus of a public plaza. The architect for the new museum will be announced in February 2014.
Zeitz MOCAA is set to welcome its first visitors at the end of 2016.
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