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Gabi Ngcobo will be the new director of the Melly Arts Institute from 2024

Gabi Ngcobo will be the new director of the Melly Arts Institute from 2024

By one of our editors on November 24, 2023

Gabi Ngcobo photo courtesy of Melly

The supervisory board of the Melli Art Institute in Rotterdam announces the appointment of KB Nkobo as its new director. Nkobo, an internationally known curator, will begin his term in January 2024. He is currently based in South Africa, where he is the Curatorial Director of the Javed Art Center at the University of Pretoria (Javed-UP).

Gabi Nangobo succeeds Sophia Hernandez Chong Gui, who has been director since 2018. Hernandez Chong Gui will leave his post at the end of 2023. The maximum term of office of a director at the Kunstinstituut Melly is two terms of three years.

In recent years, Ngcobo has played a decisive role in establishing Javed-UP as a living academy. Since 2021, he has organized various exhibitions, and in the context of works he has collaborated with artists such as Oscar Murillo, Nolan Oswald Dennis and Luana Vitra. In 2018, Ngcobo’s Tenth Berlin Biennale: We Don’t Need Another Hero. In 2016, he was part of the curatorial team during the thirty-second edition of the São Paulo Biennale: Incentesa Viva. Below is a brief biography of Gabi Nkobo.

Part of the search for a new director of the Art Institute Mellie is an open call with a profile for the position drawn up by the supervisory board. Annet Lekkerkerker Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Melli Art Institute; The selection committee is chaired by Yolande Zola Jolie van der Heide. The other members of the supervisory board are Fariba Derakhshani, Timme Kierlof, Stijn Huyts, Annuska Bronkhorst, Gabrielle Lester and Yin Yin Wong. A brief biography of each of them can be found here.

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Since the founding of Kunstinstituut Melly in 1990, appointed directors have been given meaningful time, resources and support to lead the institution and program. Previous Directors: Chris Tercon, 1990-1995; Bartomeu Mari, 1996-2001; Kathryn David, 2002-2004, Hans Maarten van den Brink, interim director between May 2004 and April 2006; Nicholas Schaffhausen, 2006-2011; and Defne Ayas, 2012-2017.

About Gabi Ngcobo

Gabi Ngcobo is the Curatorial Director of the Javed Art Center at the University of Pretoria (Javed-UP) in South Africa from 2021. In addition, he has spent years developing independent curatorial projects, collaborating with various institutions in different parts of the world. Examples of this The show is over (2022) at a South London gallery in the United Kingdom, which he co-organized with artist Oscar Murillo, and ‘t’ is silent (2021) at the Dhondt-Dhaenes Museum in Tours, Belgium. In 2018, he curated the tenth edition of the Berlin Biennale in Germany: We Don’t Need Another Hero. In 2016, he co-curated the 32nd São Paulo Biennial: Incentesa Viva in Brazil.

Ngcobo was also a lecturer at the Wits School of Arts in Johannesburg. In addition, he was a founding member of the Johannesburg-based NGO Nothing Gets Organized in 2016 and co-founded the Center for Historical Reenactments between 2010 and 2014. His written works have been widely published. Recent articles are included in the exhibition catalogues Shooting Down Babylon: The Tracy Rose Retrospective (2022) Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town, South Africa; random bodies (2021) Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, Aotearoa New Zealand; And The Stronger We Become (2019) at the South African Pavilion, Venice Biennale, Italy.

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Kunstinstituut Melly’s mission is to present exhibitions and organize activities aimed at engaging the public in experiencing and learning about the latest developments in the field of contemporary art and art theory. We create exhibitions, publications and educational programs of high artistic and cultural significance. We offer artistic work, support innovative research projects and promote cultural partnerships. Art Institute Melli is involved in organizing original curatorial projects, fostering public dialogue and welcoming visitors to the large, 3,500 m2 nineteenth-century building at Witte de Withstraat 50 in the Cool district of Rotterdam.

Art Institute Mellie is supported by the Municipality of Rotterdam and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. In 2023, the company will also receive contributions from AMMODO, the Hartwig Foundation and Droom en Daad. Project support is achieved through fundraising activities, individual donations and grants from funds and foundations.