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 exhibitingcutting 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, with the V&A committing over R500-million to the development required for the establishment of the Museum. Built in 1921, and at 57m tall, the Grain Silo remains an icon of the Cape Town skyline.
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.
V&A Waterfront CEO David Green said: “Given the history and socio-economic role the V&A Waterfront plays in South Africa and the sheer number of visits we achieve annually, we felt this gift to the nation, where commerce meets culture, was entirely appropriate and will correctly continue to position the Waterfront as a social nexus for all Capetonians, South Africans and international visitors who take joy in celebrating culture.”
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.
Zeitz MOCAA is set to welcome its first visitors at the end of 2016. 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 new Executive Director and Chief Curator of Zeitz MOCAA will be Mark Coetzee, who has earned an international reputation and track record for directing cultural institutions that define best practice. Examples of these are the “Miami Model” with the Rubell Collection and a new ground-breaking corporate responsibility model through PUMAVision. Coetzee has relocated to South Africa after a 25 year international career to lead Zeitz MOCAA.
Jochen Zeitz and V&A's CEO David Green. Photo: Andrew Brown