Zeitz MOCAA proudly presents an exciting new exhibition selected from its permanent collection, opening on 6 November 2019. The installation will occupy all gallery spaces on Level 4, a dedicated space for the institution’s collection. This forms part of a recent reimagining of the museum’s galleries and spatial organisation, and exhibitions here will change annually.
Titled Two Together, the show is built around major themes explored by artists from Africa and its diaspora represented in the collection, and each gallery will contain a pair: either two objects, or multiple works by two artists, or two major themes – either in dialogue, as counterpoints, or in sync. As couples do, in comedic duos or in romance, the exhibition will embrace a rigorous engagement between objects and ideas.
So, what happens when two come together? Two photographers can subvert a gaze, while probing issues around representation, presence, omission, authorship and voyeurism. Speaking from contrasting geo-political vantage points, two can highlight the perpetual and impeding undertone of violence still manifesting in present-day psyche. The numerous lines between collective memory, imagination and folklore are blurred when two artists use material to venerate and to make visible intangible heritage.
When two come together, there can be a conversation around absence and nostalgia expressed by cutting; tearing images from archives or ripping apart strips of cloth, both done to express loss.
Both, referencing the history of slave trades across the Atlantic or the Indian Ocean, two can use portraiture as a medium to re-imagine routes journeyed by ancestors. Two together can amplify resistance. Using satire and sophistication, they can resist the imposed taxonomy of time, place, gender and history.
The exhibition includes a diptych by Isaac Julien, as well as pairings of and conversation between works by Zanele Muholi and Mouna Karray; Njideka Akunyili Crosby and Joël Andrianomearisoa; Nicholas Hlobo and Taiye Idahor; Sethembile Msezane and Glenn Ligon; Leonce Raphael Agbodjélou and Athi Patra Ruga as well as Mishack Masamvu and Lungiswa Gqunta.
Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa
Silo District, S Arm Road
V&A Waterfont, Cape Town, 8002