Cape Town hosts the largest Art Museum in Africa, The Zeitz MOCAA

The largest art museum in Africa is being created in the historic Grain Silo at the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town. It is called Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) in honour of the renowned Zeitz Collection, that will form the museum’s founding collection, and the support of Jochen Zeitz of the programming and acquisition funds.

Grain Silo (2)Zeitz MOCAA will focus on collecting, preserving, researching and exhibiting cutting edge contemporary art from Africa and its Diaspora. Jochen Zeitz’s said: ‘My collection has been strategically built over many years specifically with the goal to create an internationally relevant public contemporary art museum in Africa. After considering many cities across Africa, I am excited to partner with the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. It is an iconic location in an iconic city, and will be situated in a historic landmark building. This will make my collection accessible to a local, national, continental and international audience.’

Mocaa Heatherwick Exterior designIn addition to donating the Zeitz Collection, Jochen will also underwrite the running costs of the museum and provide a substantial acquisition budget to allow the museum to acquire new works and collections.

Newly-appointed chief curator and director of the museum, Mark Coetzee says, ‘Zeitz MOCAA will constitute a re-imagining of a museum within an African context: celebrate Africa preserving its own cultural legacy, writing its own history and defining itself on its own terms. The vision of the V&A Waterfront and Jochen Zeitz will have major impact for the visual art world and for Cape Town.’

The vast museum will span a total of 9, 500 square metres (9 floors) with 6, 000 square metres dedicated to exhibiting some of the best contemporary African art installations and works. One of the nine floors will be dedicated entirely to education and they also plan on converting the rooftop into a sculpture garden.

mocaa2

mocaa3The development of the Silo district will also include a residential, commercial and leisure area, as well as a hotel, with the transformed Grain Silo as the central focus of a public plaza.

The opening of the Zeitz MOCAA is expected by the end of 2016; though, until such a time, chosen works from the Zeitz Collection is been housed in the Zeitz MOCAA Pavilion, a temporary Waterfront-based exhibition space that gives visitors a tiny taste of the grandeur that is to come!

by Hervé Bindé