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22 March2017

by Greg Cooke

Zeitz Museum Of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) houses Africa's largest contemporary art collection under one remarkable roof.

Since opening in September 2017, Zeitz MOCAA has received considerable amounts of attention both locally and worldwide. Both the contemporary African art museum and The Silo Hotel occupy the historic grain silo building in Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront. The Silo Hotel has been built in the grain elevator portion of the historic grain silo complex and occupies the six floors above the museum. The museum occupies the floors below the hotel as well as the 42 grain silos themselves.

Zeitz MOCAA

What is Zeitz MOCAA?

MOCAA stands for Museum of Contemporary Art Africa. It is a contemporary art museum similar to the likes of the Tate Modern in London, MoMA in New York and Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid. Established in 2013 Zeitz MOCAA is a not-for-profit partnership between the V&A Waterfront and Jochen Zeitz, whose collection forms part of the museum’s founding collection.

The V&A Waterfront recognised the significance of its Grain Silo complex as an historic landmark and for years debated possible uses. An art museum was eventually decided upon but a collection was needed.

The desire was to house something of public civic significance, and something open to the public. It was through Ravi Naidoo that Thomas Heatherwick was introduced to the Grain Silo complex in 2006, and again in 2011.

At the same time, Jochen Zeitz was working with curator Mark Coetzee to build a world class collection of contemporary art from Africa and its Diaspora with the vision to create the first major museum dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and its Diaspora on the Africa Continent. The meeting of these two visions resulted in the creation of the not-for-profit public institution since named Zeitz MOCAA.

When did Zeitz MOCAA open?

The Grand Public Opening Weekend took place from 22 to 25 September 2017 and offered free entry for everyone.

The Professional and Patron preview weekend took place from 15 to 17 September.

What are Zeitz MOCAA’s opening times?

Zeitz MOCAA is be open from Wednesday to Monday 10am to 6pm. The museum is closed on Tuesdays. On every first Friday of the month the museum opens from 10am to 9pm.

How much will it cost to visit Zeitz MOCAA?

Admission prices to Zeitz MOCAA are as follows:

Single Day Entry:  ZAR 180
Annual Membership: ZAR 250

Free admissions to all under 18’s. Free admissions for all South Africans between 10am and 1pm every Wednesday. Half price admissions for all on ‘Late Night Fridays’.

Who is Jochen Zeitz?

Jochen Zeitz is the former CEO of PUMA and was the youngest CEO in German history to head a public company at the age of 30.

Who designed Zeitz MOCAA?

The exterior of the grain silo building, consisting of The Silo Hotel and Zeitz MOCAA, as well as the interior of the museum was designed by renowned industrial designer Thomas Heatherwick, Founder and Principal of London-based Heatherwick Studio.

Heatherwick Studio was tasked by the V&A Waterfront with the transformation of the elevator house and the adjacent storage annex of 6 rows of 7 silos, while carefully retaining its cultural significance and creating a building that would  be as synonymous with the Cape Town skyline as the Eiffel Tower is to Paris.

From the outside, the greatest visible change to the building’s original structure is the addition of pillowed glazing panels, inserted into the geometry of The Silo Hotel floors, which bulge outward as if gently inflated. By night, the building transforms into a glowing beacon in the harbour.

What art can guests expect to see at Zeitz MOCAA?

Various pieces from the Zeitz Collection as well as the museum’s permanent will be on show. In addition, different loans and traveling exhibitions will be displayed throughout the year. The focus will be on contemporary African art. Artists on display include Andrew Putter, Mohau Modisakeng, Edson Chagas, Nicholas Hlobo, Wangechi Mutu, Chris Ofili, and Rashid Johnson.

To find out more about the opening exhibitions on display, download the Zeitz MOCAA Opening Exhibition PDF below:

Zeitz MOCAA Opening Exhibitions (127.60 KB)
mohao-modisakeng-cape-town-art

Image courtesy of Mohao Modisakeng and WHATIFTHEWORLD Art Gallery

Zeitz MOCAA memberships vary from an entry level Annual Membership of R250 per annum to a Gold Membership of R10 000 per annum. For more information on Zeitz MOCAA memberships, please visit the Zeitz membership page here. 

Objectives of the foundation:

  • The advancement, promotion and preservation of arts and culture from Africa and its Diaspora
  • To provide economically viable access to a core collection of art to the public
  • To operate appropriate schools programme to enrich, inspire and bring art and culture to school children
  • For Zeitz MOCAA to be seen as giving back to Africa and telling the African history story through art and culture

Watch the Zeitz MOCAA Opening video below.

Download our Zeitz MOCAA information sheet below:

TS-ZeiTZ-MOCAA-Information (61.32 KB)

For enquiries about Zeitz MOCAA:

General enquiries: info@zeitzmocaa.museum

Press enquiries: Zainab van Rijmenant on Zainab.vanrijmenant@zeitz.mocaa.museum

Donations, sponsorships and corporate memberships: Thobile Ndarana on thobile.ndarana@zeitzmocaa.museum

Operations, events, general admissions and memberships: Sabine Lehmann on sabine.lehmann@zeitzmocaa.museum

Telephone: +27 (0)21 418 7855

Thanks to Iwan Baan for the beautiful image of the grain silo building.

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