Roger Ballen and Eiger Foundation establish Centre for Photography
Ahead of its grand opening during South Africa Heritage Weekend in September 2017, the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) yesterday announced major gifts from the Roger Ballen Foundation and the Eiger Foundation to Zeitz MOCAA’s endowment to establish and support a centre for photography.
The gifts are the largest financial donations received by the museum, to date, from a Foundation. 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.
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.
“It has been my great desire to contribute to the understanding of photography in South Africa in the country that I call home,” said Roger Ballen. “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.”
The Eiger Foundation donation includes:
1.The second largest financial gift to Zeitz MOCAA’s endowment, to date, from a Foundation, to be invested to establish an ongoing full-time curator of photography.
2. An additional financial gift to endow one gallery in the Centre for Photography.
3. 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.
“The Eiger Foundation promotes photography as an important art form,” said Leonard O’Brien, the Founder of the Eiger Foundation. “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.”
In recognition of this enormous support, the Centre for Photography has been named the Roger Ballen Foundation Centre for Photography. In honour of the major support by Eiger Foundation, the Curator of Photography is named the Eiger Foundation Curator of Photography and one gallery in the Roger Ballen Foundation Centre for Photography is named the Eiger Foundation Gallery.
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, to encourage intercultural understanding and guarantee access 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.
Additional support has been provided by M&C Saatchi Abel to endow a photography gallery, the M&CSaatchi Abel Gallery. The AKO Foundation is supporting the position of Assistant Curator of Photography. An additional Assistant Curator of Photography position is being supported by Mikael Kamras and Fredrik Oweson.
Azu Nwagbogu, the Founder and Director of Lagos Photo Festival, has been appointed as the Curator at Large of Photography at the Roger Ballen Foundation Centre for Photography. Gcotyelwa Mashiqa has been appointed as the AKO Foundation Assistant Curator of Photography.
As a not-for-profit public cultural institution, Zeitz MOCAA is dependent on donations to fulfil its mission. This coming together of various supporters acts as a blueprint of the manner in which Zeitz MOCAA will fulfil its mission and become sustainable through the collective generosity of local and international communities. The museum is a partnership between the V&A Waterfront and German businessman Jochen Zeitz, to create a significant contemporary art museum on the African continent.
“Zeitz MOCAA is honoured to become the guardian and archive of Roger Ballen’s work and the legacy that he leaves through the Roger Ballen Foundation Centre for Photography,” said Azu Nwagbogu, Curator at Large of Photography. “Ballen remains an inspiration to photographers seeking a unique visual language and his contribution will ensure a professional platform for photographers from across the African continent. It will enable their work to be collected, preserved and exhibited far into the future.”
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