Skip to content

Selections from the Collection

Start Date 04 April 2024
End Date 04 April 2027
Venue Museum of Contemporary Art Africa
Location Cape Town,South Africa
Curator Khanyi Mawhayi

Joël Andrianomearisoa
Kudzanai Chiurai
Salah Elmur
Frances Goodman
Tayie Idahor
Isaac Julien
Glenn Ligon
Thebetsile Magugu
Michele Mathison
Misheck Masamvu
Nandipha Mntambo
Daniella Mooney
Zanele Muholi
Ebony G. Patterson
Jody Paulsen
Thania Petersen
Athi-Patra Ruga
Brett Charles Seiler

The Zeitz MOCAA Permanent Collection was established in 2015 and is focused on contemporary artistic practices from Africa and its global diaspora. It consists of over 500 objects, ranging from works on paper and canvas, photographic prints, sculptures, video works, installations and more. Featuring artists from multiple countries, including South Africa, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Madagascar, the United States, Kenya, and Sudan, the collection is a rich testament to the diversity of contemporary practices from the continent and beyond.

A large part of the collection consists of a recent donation of artworks which were formerly on a long-term loan from art collector, and co-founder of the museum, Jochen Zeitz. Other works have been gifted to the museum by artists, collectors, and art enthusiasts.

Our collection is thoroughly contemporary and addresses several relevant discourses in Africa and the world today, like migration, human rights, visibility, memory, and desire. Notably, it includes works by some of the most celebrated artists working in the world today. We also hold comprehensive bodies of work from singular artists like Nandipha Mntambo, Zanele Muholi and Kudzanai Chiurai, amongst others.

There are a myriad of ways to describe the works in this exhibition, but we have picked eight key adjectives that speak to the variety of objects and ideas in the exhibition. Our glossary below is a guide to some of those related to the themes and concepts explored by artists.

MONOCHROME – often used to describe artworks that are black-and-white, this word comes from mono (one) and chroma (colour).

SERIAL – in series; similar or even identical individual artworks that come together in succession to form a larger body of work.

QUEER – a reclaimed umbrella term for LGBTQ+ people and other “outsiders” to social norms of gender and sexuality.

POLITICAL – relating to systems of power and social structures like nations, governments, and institutions.

TEXTUAL – using or relating to written language; based on reading and writing words to create meaning.

CAMP – having a deliberately theatrical sensibility; wittily extravagant; “extra”.

UNCANNY – slightly off or odd, and unsettlingly so, being beyond what is normal or expected; strange and mysterious; relates especially to the human figure.

ORGANIC – coming from natural living matter like a plant, an animal, or the soil.