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Zeistz-MOCAA: Energizing African Art

Here goes - my first posting!! As I'm staying in South Africa I thought it only fitting I kick off with something from this amazing country. Sitting in the relaxed early morning sunshine in the village of Franschhoek (about 45 minutes from the centre of Cape Town) I'm about as far removed from the emotional intensity, experienced on a visit to the Zeitz-MOCAA (Museum of Contemporary Art Africa) last year, as you can possibly imagine. The museum is a showcase for art that literally interrogates your senses. 100 galleries filled with cutting edge 21st century works and installations which, much like Tate Modern, have risen phoenix like out of the dereliction of a vacant silo site close to the V & A Waterfront. It is a public not-for-profit contemporary art museum which collects, preserves, researches, and exhibits twenty-first century art from Africa and its Diaspora. However, whilst its mandate might include the development of educational and enrichment programmes alongside the encouragement of intercultural understanding my over-riding feeling (other than mental exhaustion) was the sense of anger, frustration and desperation that underpins the permanent collection as much as the awe in the building itself and the craftsmanship of some of the pieces. This is a political experience, one that questions the very foundation of the canon of Western art, and in so doing the relevance of beauty in art today. It's exciting, thought provoking and enervating in equal measure. If you want to experience the real energy in Africa today a visit to MOCAA is a must. ; #zeitzmocca

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