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Eastern Cape artist welcomed as latest Zeitz MOCAA Atelier resident

Zeitz MOCAA introduces the newest artist in their Atelier programme

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By House & Garden South Africa | June 22, 2023 | Art

Now in its fifth iteration, the successful Zeitz MOCAA Atelier residency programme welcomes artist Unathi Mkonto as its latest resident. Born in the Eastern Cape and now living and working in Cape Town, Mkonto’s residency, titled TO LET, will open on Thursday, 22 June 2023.

Mkonto’s practice resides at the intersection of art, design, and architecture and engages the Atelier space in a way that allows him to reveal processes — both artistic and in relation to the thematics of his practice — that are often hidden. In thinking about how people interact with the ‘edge of the city’, or what can be viewed as a commercial and domestic strip of land, he has created a site where both he and his audience can play, investigate and contemplate.

Talented artist, Unathi Mkonto. Image: Supplied

TO LET invites viewers to navigate the museum as a captivating maze, with Mkonto using his photographs, drawings, maquettes, sculptures, and installations to construct a physical and conceptual space that challenges our understanding of architecture’s influence on human interaction. This residency further exemplifies the spirit of exploration, offering a unique opportunity for public access and insight into the artist’s creative process.

Launched as an experimental platform and residency that provides Cape Town-based artists with an opportunity to create new work, conduct research and develop ideas for future projects, the Atelier is a multi-gallery area situated on the museum’s second floor. The space is also open to the public, allowing visitors to Zeitz MOCAA to have unique access and insight into the artists’ modes of production and processes.

In line with the Atelier programme’s vision as an exploratory space, the artist plans to create ‘movable platforms’ that further position his residency as a collaborative journey where artists and visitors alike can ponder and reimagine the performative nature and interplay of the built environment where the bustling commercial district and residential fabric of the city meet.

“My intention with TO LET is to specifically question the ways in which architecture encourages a particular performance from the people living, working and playing around it,” notes Mkonto. “I look forward to connecting with and observing visitors as they interact with the space.”

Past residents of Zeitz MOCAA Atelier include Thania Petersen, Kemang Wa Lehulere, Haroon Gunn-Salie and, most recently, Igshaan Adams. Mkonto’s residency, titled TO LET, will run from Thursday, 22 June 2023 through Sunday, 25 February 2024