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Raking Leaves (detail)

Publishing Against the Grain is a unique exhibition that provides visitors with a rare opportunity to engage in a variety of conversations from across the globe, touching on issues that are often swept under the rug or kept out of the public eye. Due to the nature of these publications––and the subsequent lack of financial support––many of the projects found within this exhibition have shown extraordinary vitality and would otherwise be very difficult to come by. A selection of key publications was drawn from Independent Curators International’s (ICI) worldwide network of collaborators. These curators, artists and scholars, all involved in independent publishing, are represented in the exhibition through their own projects and those of others who have influenced their work and school of thought.
In bringing these projects together from around the world, Publishing Against the Grain reveals how the materials and discursive activities surrounding the production of these publications respond to intersecting subjects of contemporary aesthetics, diaspora, sex and gender, gentrification, race, language, and art history.
Appropriately, the collection of books, magazines and journals from independent publishers across the globe will be exhibited in the museum’s Centre for Art Education. Visitors will be allowed to read and reproduce sections of the works using materials and tools within the gallery space, and collate them to produce their own zines or take them home for continued engagement, allowing for the content of the exhibition to exist and circulate beyond the walls of the museum.
“With this exhibition, Zeitz MOCAA hopes to deliver on its ethos of education, enrichment and intercultural understanding, by allowing visitors to interact, reproduce and disseminate what they find most relevant from the exhibition. In turn, we hope that these interactions will help us get a better understanding of the needs of our communities. As a new institution, this exhibition provides a great opportunity for us to be receptive, self-reflexive, and to allow these discussions to have an impact on the future direction of the museum as a site that carries civic responsibilities,” says Sven Christian, the Adrianne Iann Assistant Curator of Books and Works on Paper, the organising curator for the presentation of Publishing Against the Grain at Zeitz MOCAA.
Publishing Against the Grain is an exhibition organised and produced by Independent Curators International (ICI), New York, and initiated by ICI’s Alaina Claire Feldman, Becky Nahom and Sanna Almajedi. The exhibition was made possible with generous support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, ICI’s Board of Trustees and International Forum. The presentation at Zeitz MOCAA has been organised by Sven Christian, Adriane Iann Assistant Curator of Books and Works on Paper at Zeitz MOCAA, and is supported by the American Friends of Zeitz MOCAA, the Zeitz MOCAA Exhibition Endowment Fund, and Zeitz MOCAA Members.
Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA)
Silo District, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, 8002 | South Africa

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