Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Heritage Day at the Zeitz MOCAA, The Silo, V&A Waterfront

The Zeitz MOCAA is a museum of contemporary African art. It is also, in a way, a sculpture on its own; a reincarnation of the old grain silo in the Cape Town harbour. The silo tubes have been carved out to create new spaces and wonderful shapes which lend themselves to photographic compositions. This makes it an interesting exercise for a photographer, but so do the interactions between visitors, the art works and the building itself. Most of the photographs can be viewed without captions, but explanations can inform. On Heritage Day this week, the museum was open free of charge to local residents and we decided to take advantage of the offer. There was also a special Cape Malay lunch in the museum restaurant, so we booked for that as well
It was a bit daunting to see the long queue when we arrived at midday, but it was moving fairly quickly. Then a young man came up to us and said we should come with him to the head of the queue. We suspect age and grey hair had something to do with it, but we were grateful, although there were a few protests from younger people in the queue
The entrance to the Zeitz MOCAA Museum
The almost sculptured ceiling was carved out of the silos. The architect who designed this was extremely creative with what must have been a very daunting space
We titled this the Angel of Death - we could not see any information on this installation. Behind, on the left, you can see people climbing the stairs. There are six floors. We took the lift up and walked down from the top
Nice lighting from the roof lights at the top of the stairs. Almost a smile
And, looking up, it is like a huge mechanical metal eye
The circular lifts travel up one of the silos. Only one was working and they are extremely slow
A view of the innovative facetted windows of the hotel section of the building. They remind Lynne of sails full of wind and glimmer in the sunshine
The view from the sculpture terrace on the 5th floor, back towards Table Mountain and “our” mountain, Lions Head. The terrace has glass floors which top the silos below, not great to walk on if you have vertigo. They have applied a pattern to make it less daunting
The view straight down to earth below
And that beautiful snail of a staircase from the top
Finally, into the gallery. The art is intensely political at the moment, and features some art from Zimbabwe and other African countries. The exhibitions change regularly
Lots of light, white space
"Human Nature is a debut solo exhibition that presents an extensive body of ethereal paintings created by Ruby Swinney following her graduate show at the Michaelis School of Fine Art in 2015". These seemed to be ethereal, spiritual or alien subjects in oil and water on tracing paper and occupied a whole floor
Paint, paper and cardboard make up this cape
Lots of discussions about the paintings and their meanings
and lots of photos were taken
Is this art? Or someone sorting out their handbag? Actually, he was taking a photo from floor level
One of the most memorable pictures of the day, part of the exhibition by Zimbabwean artists entitled "Five Bhobh" (the 50c taxi fare in Zim) – Painting at the End of an Era. Many familiar faces in this Last Supper rendition
Lots of space for large paintings to get attention
Architectural spaces enhance the art
We laughed and enjoyed this wryly amusing painting, but the message is clear; lots of hot air in the politics in Zimbabwe. Apparently Zimbabwean President Mnangagwa is the crocodile disappearing into the calabash, with the armed forces looking on. You probably have to be from Zimbabwe to get all the inferences and references
Some confounded and puzzled; the label told us. It is titled “Sadza”, the Shona name for mieliepap/polenta, often sold as a take away in polystyrene boxes
Two sides of the gallery are connected with balcony walkways
Lovely shapes in the view to the ground floor
A suspended sculpture of a woman, made from old bras, got attention
We stood rapt at this film of the artist painting his face and smiling at the camera. Then he scrapes it all off and begins again
A wall of bottle tops makes a great statement in the small shop. We think this is where John lost the parking ticket while handing out his business card!
A great view of the Pterodactyl or Angel, whatever your own interpretation....
A chat about the art, or a bored husband and a happy wife? Again make your own interpretation, it is all art, all things being equal
This was a very striking exhibit
From another angle
Girls chatting
A view between
Flying out of his egg shell?
Darth Vader or Munch?
Spiral. The 6 storey spiral staircase, like a huge mechanical eye, looking up
and echoes of a cathedral
We loved this fine picture, not taking itself seriously
Selfie time
The photo does not do enough justice to this figure of bling
Pose please and smile now, Mum
A maker of spectacles
This entire piece is made from flattened bottle capsules, and is quite wonderful. The work involved must have taken months if not years. Very impressive. Nice way to recycle too
A place to meet, or wait
Time to see if our table was ready at 2.30; we were hungry
This was the special Heritage Day menu
and the very expensive wine list. Priced for tourists, not for locals
The restaurant is rather industrial and plain on the inside
The service was really bad, we had to get up and ask for a waiter to come and serve us after waiting for a long time
The Vetkoek platter with another dish from the normal menu on another table.
The beer choices are Castle Lite, a beer so "lite" in flavour that it is a bit like making love in a canoe, Windhoek Lager (sold out) or Heineken at R45 a bottle
The Chicken and Prawn curry, topped with a cucumber raita, served on rice with a roti. It had good flavour, was medium hot and reminded us more of those we had in Durban, rather than Cape Malay. Generous with the large prawns
John's Gourmet Boerewors roll with a few chips was rather disappointing, not Gourmet at all. There was a relish table but no signs saying what the sauces on it were, and he is rather conservative with sauces if he doesn’t know what went into them

Our bill. Our friend Pamela was with us and she had the wine by the glass
The photographs were all taken with John's "Mighty Midget" Nikon Coolpix A900 which has a very powerful 4.3-151mm zoom lens (24-840 35mm equivalent) and excellent performance
More than just a "point and shoot"

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