OBJECTS IN THE TIDE OF TIME
Celebrating our permanent collection
Iziko SA National Gallery: Rooms 4,5, Liberman Room, 8 and 9, now open
The permanent collection of any art museum is central to its mission and existence. The Iziko SANG collection is highly diverse, both international and South African in origin, and it reflects a history of collecting over the past 140-odd years since the idea of a public gallery in the Cape Town’s Company Gardens was first mooted. This exhibition opens our storerooms to reveal hidden chapters in that history, thus highlighting the time-bound nature of ‘taste’, as well as the collecting priorities and shifting cultural politics at play in its ongoing formation. Objects in the Tide of Time reflects a philosophical-curatorial approach in the way it has been assembled, posing questions about concepts of (art) history and the role of the art museum in South Africa. Objects long banished to deep storage have now resurfaced, juxtaposed with contemporary works that are being shown for the very first time. Objects that are centuries-old rub shoulders with cutting-edge new work in a deliberately anachronistic visual feast spread over five rooms. The new exhibition affords a fresh and deeper view of our collection that enables us to understand and appreciate it as a major cultural resource.