Wednesday, September 27, 2017

First African Contemporary Art Museum Opens in Capetown Amidst Controversy

Fredrick Ngugi, Face to Face Africa
September 24, 2017

"For a long time, contemporary African artists have struggled to find the right platform to showcase their work. They have always relied on foreign museums to exhibit their talent and make revenue.

But this is set to change with the launch of the first African contemporary art museum in Cape Town, South Africa. The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art was officially opened Friday, September 22, at an event that was presided over by the renowned South African Archbishop Desmund Tutu.

The museum has been characterized as Africa’s Tate Modern(an institution that houses England’s national collection of British art, and international contemporary art). Zeitz is the creation of the renowned British architect Thomas Heatherwick.

The arts center occupies a nine-storey building that previously served as a grain silo in Cape Town. Heatherwick, with the help of three local architecture firms, has transformed the building’s original cylinders into huge tubular shapes that stand in the middle of the BMW Atrium, the center’s main hall.

Zeitz Museum features more than 100 galleries, a sculpture garden on the roof, and six research centers dedicated to Art Education, Performative Practice, Curatorial Excellence, Photography, Costume Institute, and the Moving Image."

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