Koyo Kouoh, independant art curator and cultural operator of Cameroonian origins, she is the founder and artistic director of the Raw Material Company cultural center and gallery in Dakar. | Koyo Kouoh, commissaire d'expositions indépendante et opératrice culturelle d'origine camerounaise. Elle est la fondatrice et directrice artistique du centre culturel et de la galerie Raw Material Company à Dakar.

Koyo Kouoh Appointed Executive Director And Chief Curator Zeitz Mocca

The new Executive Director and Chief Curator is set to assume office effective immediately. However, she will be assisted by the acting current curator Azu Nwagbogu until May 6th when she will take up her position officially.

South African based museum Zeitz Mocca has appointed its new Executive Director and Chief Curator Koyo Kouoh. Koyo replaces outgoing Acting Chief Curator Azu Nwagbogu. According to the museum, Koyo Kouoh brings two decades of experience as an international curator and cultural producer to her new role. As the founding Artistic Director of the thought-provoking RAW Material Company, a center for art, knowledge and society in Dakar, she developed numerous art programmes and published widely on contemporary art. She has served as Curator of the Educational and Artistic Program of 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair for eight consecutive editions in London and New York, as well as on the curatorial teams for Documenta 12 and 13.

Furthermore, she has been active in the critical field of the arts community in a Pan-African and international scope and has a remarkable list of publications under her name, including the upcoming “RAW Académie: A Matter of Knowledge,” “Word!Word?Word! Issa Samb and The Undecipherable Form” (2013) and “Condition Report on Building Art Institutions in Africa”, (2012) to name a few.

Speaking on her appointment, Jochen Zeitz and David Green, Co-Founders and Co-Chairmen of Zeitz MOCAA, “Koyo is an outstanding leader and a passionate visionary who has an exemplary competence and extended network in all capacities of institutional operations with the arts in Africa and globally. She will be invaluable to Zeitz MOCAA in writing a progressive vision for the museum,”

“I have known and worked with Koyo for many years on projects related to the contemporary art of Africa and much more. I believe that she will be a huge contributor to the further development of Zeitz MOCAA as an institution, as her knowledge of the continent’s contemporary players contributing to Africa’s cultural history will help the museum with its core intentions of being a major voice in the field of visual culture. The Trustees have made a bold and daring choice that indicates the museum’s ambitions,” said Gavin Jantjes, Chair of the Zeitz MOCAA Curatorial Advisory Group.

While accepting her appointment Koyo said, “I am thrilled to be joining Zeitz MOCAA in an executive and curatorial capacity at this crucial time in the museum’s development. It is an unprecedented opportunity to create a strong home for the production, exhibition, discussion and collection of contemporary art in Africa”.

Independently, working as a curator she has organized meaningful and timely exhibitions such as Body Talk: Feminism, Sexuality and the Body in the Works of Six African Women Artists, first shown at Wiels in Brussels in 2015. She also curated Still (the) Barbarians, 37th EVA International, the Irish Biennial in Limerick in 2016, and more recently she participated to the 57th Carnegie International in Pittsburgh with the deeply researched Dig Where You Stand, 2018, a show within a show drawn from the collections of the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History. Besides this she was also the initiator of the research project Saving Bruce Lee: African and Arab Cinema in the era of Soviet Cultural Diplomacy, co-curated with Rasha Salti at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow and Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, 2015-2018.

Opened in September 2017, Zeitz Mocca received 250,000 visitors in its first year. suprisingly, 100,000 of the visitors were free admission as the museum tries to build its free for all initiative. The first Executive Director and Chief Curator was Mark Coetzee who was also the acting cultural specialist for the Zeitz Foundation based in Segera Kenya.

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