Where fluffing egos takes a backseat to art and research

Lifestyle

Where fluffing egos takes a backseat to art and research

The opening of the Joburg Contemporary Art Foundation has overturned a decade-long myth

Mary Corrigall

Rumours of a new museum to house and present Gordon Schachat’s burgeoning art collection have been circulating for almost a decade. As such, its existence had become somewhat part of Joburg’s urban mythology.

It is always satisfying to see a myth overturned, particularly one such as this. As public intellectual Achille Mbembe noted during his address on the opening night of this new art space: “Joburg is a big city that needs a big art institution.”

The Joburg Contemporary Art Foundation (JCAF) is not “big”, with only 450m² of exhibition space. Well, that is if you compare it to its contemporaries in Cape Town — the Norval Foundation (which has nine galleries) or Zeitz Mocaa (6,000m²). However, its director, Clive Kellner, says the JCAF was not conceived as a “populist” destination and quality will always supersede quantity...

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