The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) is the first major museum in Africa dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and the Diaspora. The museum's inaugural exhibition will include Nicholas Hlobo's iimpundulu zonke ziyandilandela (2011), first exhibited in the 54th Venice Biennale, as well as three paintings produced for the 2012 Paris Triennale.
The BMW Atrium stands at the heart of the museum. It provides Zeitz MOCAA the ability to commission and exhibit monumental interventions on a scale never before seen in a public museum in Africa. Nicholas Hlobo’s, iimpundulu zonke ziyandilandela combines rubber inner tubing, multi-coloured ribbons, an animal skull, and pink theatre lights. As light streams in from the glasstopped atrium, this massive bird hovers over us. Hlobo seduces us with the haunting lullaby, he has created for this piece. As oral histories inevitably disappear, Hlobo represents the Xhosa myth of the Lightning Bird or the witch’s servant, manifesting itself as a bird or an attractive man. Hlobo however morphs the myth to particular personal concerns taking into account taboos associated with masculinity and violence. The generosity of Hlobo’s practice allows us to enter a fantastical world not normally accessible to us.