The Museum of African Design (MOAD) in Johannesburg is the first cultural hub on the continent dedicated to pan African and diaspora design. Housed in a former automotive factory and part of the CBD’s Maboneng Precinct, MOAD opened in November as an interdisciplinary space where creative practitioners can interact via exhibitions, outreach programmes, talent incubators and speakeasy evenings.
“Engaging with some of the most exciting ideas from across Africa and sharing them in innovative ways is going to change the perception of white-walled, glass-boxed institutions,” says MOAD director Aaron Kohn, who established African Lookbook in the US before relocating to Joburg to launch MOAD with its founder Jonathan Liebmann. They see MOAD as less of a museum and more of a “laboratory” where live music and haircuts are as likely to happen as lectures.
The first full-length exhibition Native Nostalgia explores bygone eras within contemporary narratives. Young artists from Senegal, Nigeria, Algeria, Benin and South Africa have used architecture, cartography, photography and archive to question the notion of feeling misty eyed about their respective country’s often-troubled histories. Jozi’s I See A Different You have parked a 1975 Mercedes 280E (W114) in the gallery. Meanwhile Benin’s Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou uses ceremonial masks. These kinds of juxtapositions create a dialogue between new and old design and bringing these emerging African voices to a global stage.
Native Nostalgia runs until Feb 9, 2014
Images: courtesy of MOAD