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Zeitz MOCCA’s Love Letter to Cape Town Reminds Us Why Art Is Important To Mankind

My friend and I, both creatives working in Cape Town spent our Thursday afternoon browsing through two thousand artworks showcased at Zeitz MOCAA’s new exhibition: Home is Where The Art Is: Art Is Where Home Is. It’s a busy and bountiful show and requires one’s undivided attention to fully appreciate and take in the selected pieces submitted by aspiring artists, amateurs, hobbyists as well as professional artists living in and around the city. We were both overwhelmed and in awe of what was in front of our eyes.

Weeks prior to the opening, I had the privilege of sharing wine and breaking bread with two members of the curation team, they expressed how humbled they were by the overall experience – this particular exhibition had shown them that people created meaningful art in their homes – and true to the theme, home is/was indeed where art is.

At the time, I had no idea just how phenomenal the show would be, I couldn’t begin to imagine that so much talent could come out of one city, especially during one of the most challenging times in the history of humanity.

We (art practitioners) can have muddled ideas about what makes a great artist, what art is supposed to look like, as well as where it should exist. We can be so powerfully set on the rules and sometimes go wrong in making art accessible by creating inclusive art spaces.

But this exhibition dismantles some of these notions, this exhibition intentionally seeks to make every Capetownian part of the museum and reminds us that art is really meant to be an expression of who we are as human beings who walk this earth. We are inescapably emotional beings who, when allowed to be vulnerable, tell beautiful and authentic stories.

I won’t sell you castles in the sky, some of the work is dark and might leave you questioning people’s state of mind, but what I loved is that although we can not be physically together, here is a space for us to have a dialogue about what was happening in the world. There is a sense of home in seeing everyone’s expression of themselves – articulated in different shapes and forms – under one roof.

I have been living in the city for exactly six months, so I can’t claim to know the people of Cape Town, but I can promise you that this show is the most delightful thing to come out of this lockdown. If you are at least intrigued by how two thousand artworks made by people from different walks of life can tell a coherent narrative, go see ‘Home is Where The Art Is: Art Is Where Home Is’, it runs until the 10th of January 2021.

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