Cape Town - Ahead of its Grand Opening during South Africa Heritage Weekend in September 2017, the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) has received major gifts from the Roger Ballen Foundation and the Eiger Foundation to Zeitz MOCAA’s endowment to establish and support a Centre for Photography.
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The gifts are the largest financial donations received by the museum, to date, from a foundation.
According to Roger Ballen, it has been a great desire of his to contribute to the understanding of photography in South Africa - "the country that I call home".
Roger Ballen is an American photographer living in Johannesburg. He is one of the most influential and important photographic artists of the 21st century.
“By donating my archive and finance to Zeitz MOCAA, I wish to commit to the ongoing success of this important museum in Africa and ensure that photography is guaranteed a place in the museum’s activities," Ballen says.
In recognition of this enormous support, Zeitz MOCAA's Centre for Photography has been named the Roger Ballen Foundation Centre for Photography. And in honour of the Eiger Foundation donations, the Curator of Photography will be named the Eiger Foundation Curator of Photography. One gallery in the Roger Ballen Foundation Centre for Photography will also be named the Eiger Foundation Gallery.
According to the Zeitz MOCAA, "The investment of the donations will contribute to the long-term sustainability of the museum now, and for generations to come, and will also ensure a committed focus on photography as part of Zeitz MOCAA’s mission.
Artists donate works to raise funds
A part of 20th-Century at Christie’s, a series of auctions that take place in London from 28 February – 10 March 2017, some of the world’s leading international contemporary artists's work will be exhibited in order to raise funds for the Zeitz MOCAA, set open in Cape Town during September 2017.
Fourteen artists including El Anatsui, Roger Ballen, Yto Barrada, Peter Beard, Eamonn Doyle & Niall Sweeney, Frances Goodman, Kendell Geers, Antony Gormley, Rashid Johnson, Isaac Julien, Harland Miller, Athi-Patra Ruga, Yinka Shonibare MBE and Pascale Marthine Tayou, will be offered in Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Auction on the 8 March.
The proceeds will be used towards Zeitz MOCAA’s endowment to ensure the long-term sustainability of the museum.
Looking at the considerable donations by the Roger Ballen Foundation and the Eiger Foundation, the Zeitz MOCAA will indeed be an international force to be reckoned with.
The Roger Ballen Foundation donation includes:
The largest financial gift to Zeitz MOCAA’s endowment to date from a Foundation, to be invested to support the ongoing logistical, exhibition, programming and educational costs of a Centre for Photography.
One signed edition of all work produced by Roger Ballen from 1968-1982 donated to the museum’s permanent collection.
One signed edition of all works produced by Roger Ballen from now until the artist’s death donated to the museum’s permanent collection.
The Eiger Foundation donation includes:
The second largest financial gift to Zeitz MOCAA’s endowment, to date, from a Foundation, to be invested in establishing an ongoing full-time Curator of Photography.
An additional financial gift to endow one gallery in the Centre for Photography.
One signed edition of every published photograph by Roger Ballen from the following series: Dorps, Small Towns of South Africa; Platteland, Images from Rural South Africa; Outland; Shadow Chamber; Boarding House and Asylum of the Birds, donated to the museum's permanent collection.
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Founder of the Eiger Foundation Leonard O’Brien says, “By supporting the Roger Ballen Foundation Centre for Photography and Zeitz MOCAA, the Eiger Foundation can fulfil its mission of promoting a better understanding of the photographic medium for society at large.”
The Roger Ballen Foundation Centre for Photography is one of six centres within Zeitz MOCAA, including the Costume Institute, and Centres for Art Education, for the Moving Image, for Performative Practice, and for Curatorial Excellence.
The mission of the Roger Ballen Foundation Centre for Photography is to collect, preserve, research, and exhibit cutting-edge contemporary photography, and artworks that use photography, from Africa and its Diaspora, to develop supporting educational and enrichment programs for all.
The Centre will also exhibit temporary exhibitions of photographers from all over the world to expose local audiences and practitioners to the rich legacy of photography globally.
Celebrate and historicise African art
Housed in the historic Grain Silo that has stood on Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront since 1921, Zeitz MOCAA is a path-breaking, not-for-profit institution, which will look to nurture art from across Africa and the African Diaspora.
Developing a programme that will help celebrate and historicise African art while supporting new artists, the museum will be housed in one of the most historic structures in Cape Town.
The building, comprising 9 500 square metres will display works in 80 galleries over nine floors and is being designed by Thomas Heatherwick.
While the size of the museum space itself will enable African and Diaspora artists to be exhibited on a grand scale, in its commitment to art education and open access, the museum will also look to communicate a distinctive sense of art that is available to all – and that will look to inspire generations of artists to come.
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