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Koyo Kouoh, 2016.
Koyo Kouoh, 2016.

Koyo Kouoh Appointed Executive Director and Chief Curator of Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa

The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MoCAA) has named independent curator Koyo Kouoh as its next executive director and chief curator. Kouoh succeeds Mark Coetzee, who resigned in May 2018 after the institution’s trustees launched an investigation into his professional conduct.

Kouoh is the founding artistic director of RAW Material Company, a Dakar-based cultural center. Previously, she served as curator of the educational and artistic program of the London and New York editions of the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair. She was also a member of the curatorial teams for Documenta 12 and 13.

Among her recent curatorial projects are “Body Talk: Feminism, Sexuality and the Body in the Works of Six African Women Artists” (2015) at Wiels in Brussels; “Still (the) Barbarians” (2016), the Thirty-Seventh EVA International, the Irish Biennial in Limerick; and “Dig Where You Stand” (2018), which was part of the Fifty-Seventh Carnegie International in Pittsburgh.

“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,” Jochen Zeitz and David Green, cofounders and cochairmen of Zeitz MoCAA, said in a statement. “She will be invaluable to Zeitz MoCAA in writing a progressive vision for the museum.”

Kouoh will take up the post immediately but will not assume her full responsibilities until May 6. Until then, she’ll work with Azu Nwagbogu, who took on the role of acting chief curator following Coetzee’s departure, to ensure a smooth transition in leadership.

On her appointment, Kouoh 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.”