Art world abuzz over museum

10 January 2017 - 09:27 By Dave Chambers

If you play a word association game and say "museum", the chances are someone else will respond with "old stuff".

But the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, due to open in Cape Town in September, will break the mould. None of its exhibits will have been created before the turn of the millennium.

The museum, in the historic Grain Silo at the V&A Waterfront, is attracting worldwide attention and featured in The Guardian's "Top 10 new museum openings in 2017" on Monday.

"It will be the biggest museum to open on the continent for over a century," said the British newspaper.

"It will be an influential place, too: the $38-million (about R520-million) institution will be filled entirely with work created since the year 2000, and house the impressive collection of Jochen Zeitz, while it continues to acquire work of its own."

Zeitz is a German philanthropist and former CEO of Puma.

The Guardian calls the 57m-high Grain Silo "a towering reminder of Cape Town's industrial heritage - and soon to be a symbol of its creative future".

The January edition of the Robb Report, which claims to be "the global voice of real luxury", features the museum in its "perfect 10 dynamic destinations, sophisticated sojourns and enthralling experiences" for this year.

The Week, in the UK, adds: "Few gallery openings have generated as much art world buzz in years."

Zeitz MOCAA, as it is called, will have 9500m² of exhibition space over nine floors.

Executive director and chief curator Mark Coetzee said: "Zeitz will constitute a reimagining of a museum within an African context: and celebrate Africa by 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 a major impact for the visual art world and for Cape Town."