Press release: Zeitz MOCAA reveals 2020 exhibitions calendar

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Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) is proud to reveal details of its exhibitions programme for 2020.

This robust and exciting line-up delves into the practices of artists, focuses on important narratives and critiques from across the continent and its diaspora, with an emphasis on the individual voices of artists.

The Silence Of Nduwayezu by Alfredo Jaar

“For too long contemporary African Art and that of the African diaspora has been framed by generic group exhibitions and platitudes, and we have embarked on creating a platform for in-depth and sustained attention to artist’s practices. In this way, reflections on our society and the celebration of our context, as well as the development of new discourses are driven by specificity and nuanced readings”, says Koyo Kouoh, Executive Director and Chief Curator of Zeitz MOCAA.

Ranging in scale, the museum will present ambitious exhibitions that are accompanied by critical discourse, innovative public engagements and social events.

The first exhibition opening of this year is from renowned Malian artist, Abdoulaye Konaté. Tandazani Dhlakama, Assistant Curator at Zeitz MOCAA said: “Konaté’s work has always engaged with many important socio-political and environmental issues. These range from global epidemics such as HIV/AIDS to freedom of expression, Islamic fundamentalism and political satire, to migration, music, language and spirituality.”

For Zeitz MOCAA, Konaté has created a site-specific, monumental new applique tapestry, Idéogrammes, signes, symboles et logos (hommage à Youssouf Tata Cissé et Germaine Dieterlen) which adorns the wall in the BMW Atrium. The work is an homage to two iconic thinkers who are distinguished for their immense contribution to culture.

Idéogrammes, signes, symboles et logos (hommage à Youssouf Tata Cissé et Germaine Dieterlen) by Abdoulaye Konaté

In March, the museum welcomes Alfredo Jaar: The Rwanda Project. This captivating and critical exhibition turns attention to the Rwandan genocide in 1994, and the failures inherent in the representation of trauma.

“The artist’s cutting critique towards the world’s indifference to these events at that time is palpable. The series of technical and poignant installations brings attention to news media, and the public’s voyeuristic gaze,” says Storm Janse Van Rensburg, Senior Curator at Zeitz MOCAA.

Opening in May, a major retrospective of the work of Tracey Rose is presented, accompanied by an extensive monograph on her practice. This South African artist is a radical voice in the international art world. The exhibition, titled Shooting Down Babylon, foregrounds Rose’s uncompromising and cutting vision in works spanning from 1996 to the present.

The Kiss by Tracey Rose

The exhibition encompasses film, sculpture, photography, performance, print, painting and multi-layered participatory elements, with the body and performativity being central to every aspect. For Rose, the body, often her own body, is a site for protest, outrage, resistance and pertinent discourse. It is a channel for the demonstration of exasperation, aggravation, disruption and paradox.

Senzeni Marasela

At the end of the month of May, Zeitz MOCAA presents a long overdue institutional focus on the work of Senzeni Marasela. Through various mediums, including printmaking, drawing, performance, Marasela’s work unpacks history, memory, and personal narrative, emphasising historical gaps and overlooked figures.

Inspired by, and in homage to her mother, Marasela has over the last sixteen years explored the role of black working women in South Africa, subjected to the devastating effects of migration, patriarchy, and apartheid.

In September, Zeitz MOCAA presents the extraordinary and expansive installation Museum of Contemporary African Art (1996–2002) by Meschac Gaba, exhibited for the first time in its entirety on the continent. This twelve-roomed work was conceived by the Beninese artist before an institution for contemporary African art and its diaspora existed in this context. Thus, the installation’s symbolic “return” is a moment for celebration and reflection on the role of institutional practices on the continent. The installation is on loan from, and supported by the Tate Modern, London.

In October Zeitz MOCAA presents an exhibition by acclaimed South African artist Moshekwa Langa’s first institution exhibition in the country. The artist examines ideas around belonging and non-belonging, displacement and parallel accounts. Describing his own practice as a record of both sleeping and walking, this particular show will reflect on migration and the ebb and flow that makes up the human experience.

The museum will simultaneously welcome a survey exhibition of the work of Johannes Phokela, one of Africa’s foremost painters. Known for his practice that interrogates the colonial history of painting, the artists’ ironic and subversive take on society will be profiled.

  • This programme is subject to change. 
  • Photos: provided 

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