A visit to the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art (MOCAA) in Cape Town

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Inside the behemoth: some of a myriad of grain silo shafts, viewed from one of the interconnecting bridges.

The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art (MOCAA), the most recent addition to Cape Town’s Water Front and cultural scene, is a dazzling example of entrepreneurial skill, daring architectural design, seamless technical execution and amazing individual vision and devotion.
Who in his right mind would have considered transforming Cape Town harbour’s old grain silos into one of Africa’s showpieces?!

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The entrance hall. Cathedral-like. Organ pipes? The openings featuring the grain-theme. A very powerful metaphor. The monumental growing power of a seed. A biblical dimension.
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The dragon, then, very apt. Representing the power of the imagination. Also, the fury from within the artist’s belly. The power of con- as much as (self-) destruction. Hanging in the balance.
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The construct. Welded. Painted. De-formed. The idea. Anything is possible.
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View from the top floor restaurant onto one of the Waterfront’s alive and vibrant harbour scenes.
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Culture shock – good wind for now! But see …

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… see the trade … of goods – humans like you and me – bartered never to return.
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Horse and rider all strung up in one ideological pose. The puppeteers abandoned. Keeping the pose …  hobby horsing into battle, hobnobbing with the god of war.
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Looking from within to the outside …
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onto the terrace … the periphery … clean-shaven blocks in blue.
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Cathedral like vaults with shafts of light …
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The galleries.
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William Kentridge’s video installation …
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More Sweetly Play the Dance ...
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The Musician’s Mask.
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Cyrus Kabiru, born 1984, Kenya : Masks
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The harem guard’s mask.

 

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Roger Ballen: Rooms of the Ballenesque
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The biographer knitting her family history.
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Time-weathered concrete structures having stood the test of time are released into a more commodious togetherness with light and art.
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Treasure cones once filled with wheat. Still biblical as ever: a ziggurat.
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The strong structural components cleverly segmented and opened up to let light in and allow for silently gliding  tubular transportation.
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The walls of ancient Babylon. Hammurabi’s inscriptions, faded.
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A more down-to-earth view of the walk way to the elementaries.
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Sheer monumentality and solidity of the structure seen here,  calling for special craftsmanship to break it open, revealing it’s secret realm of capture, allowing it to breathe again, of letting go, though diminished yet sharply open.
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Allusive of ancient temple constructions the industrial modernity left suspended and cut short – the remains of dusty industrious days now converted into a new flow of thought.
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No shyness here to reveal the source of all the underlying endeavour of previous centuries. Seen today as introduced once under the guise of progress and development, to be condemned now as colonialism, suppression of indigenous rights, cultural theft – here it is alive: a memorial of the strength and will of the time to succeed against the odds of a hostile climate and environment and as a reminder now of the still strongly flowing sense of daring to succeed against the odds of any type of ideologically de-formative intervention.

 

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Precious but affordable objects displayed for sale in the ambience of  industrial charm, tastefully arranged and worthwhile to consider.
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The ever present cut-out embryonic openings representing the power of a grain of wheat are contrasted with the display of industrial machinery developed to harvest, transport, store and distribute wheat on a grand scale. Here, the amputated arms of a once industrious body hoiked up in suspense, are showing a kind of pathetic readiness to perform and yet, aimless as they have become, they are witnesses of a time of harvesting and processing and nourishing without which life is not sustainable and art not fundable.

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In the end, here, finally, on your way out, meet the simple industrial machinery, well and adequately anchored to bring it all about. The raw stuff of power and design, solidly earthed.

Stellenbosch, 26 July 2018
With love as always
Colleen & Walter

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One Reply to “A visit to the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art (MOCAA) in Cape Town”

  1. Thank you for your eloquent story! We regret that our ignorant, uninformed president has gotten involved in (or at least tweeted about) your country. We hope you can ignore his comments and continue to hope (as we do) he will do no irreparable damage before we can rid ourselves of him.

    Sent from my iPhone

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