Athi-Patra  Ruga

Athi-Patra Ruga

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Born in 1984

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Collected by museums and foundations : Zeitz - Museum Of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) / National Museum of African American History & CultureMuseion – Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Bolzano Italy; CAAC – Pigozzi Collection; The Wedge Collection; and the IZIKO South African National Gallery


Presentation of the artist

Athi-Patra Ruga is one of the few artists working in South Africa today whose work has adopted the trope of myth as a contemporary response to the post-apartheid era. Ruga creates alternative identities and uses these avatars as a way to parody and critique the existing political and social status quo. Ruga’s artistic approach of creating myths and alternate realities is in some way an attempt to view the traumas of the last 200 years of colonial history from a place of detachment – at a farsighted distance where wounds can be contemplated outside of personalized grief and subjective defensiveness.

The philosophical allure and allegorical value of utopia has been central to Ruga’s practice. His construction of a mythical metaverse populated by characters which he has created and depicted in his work have allowed Ruga to create an interesting space of self reflexivity in which political, cultural and social systems can be critiqued and parodied.

Ruga has used his utopia as a lens to process the fraught history of a colonial past, to critique the present and propose a possible humanist vision for the future.

Recent exhibitions and performances include: Art Afrique, Louis Vuitton Foundation, Paris; Over the Rainbow, Performa 17, New York; Women’s Work, IZIKO South African National Gallery, Cape Town; An Age of Our Own Making, Holbaek, Denmark; Queer Threads: Crafting Identity and Community, Boston Centre for the Arts, Boston; AFRICA: Architecture, Culture and Identity at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art; Imaginary Fact at the South African Pavilion, 55th Venice Biennale; African Odysseys at The Brass Artscape in Brussels; Public Intimacy at the SFMOMA, San Francisco; The Film Will Always Be You: South African Artists on Screen at the Tate Modern in London; and Making Africa at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.

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Nationality : South Africa

Photography Performances Video Contemporary Art

CV

1984

Born in South Africa

Solo exhibitions & presentations

2018

Of Gods, Rainbows and Omissions, Somerset House, London

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2018

Things We Lost In The Rainbow, Performance (in collaboration with The Institute of Creative Arts), Cape Town

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2017

Queens in Exile 2014-2017 - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town

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2016

Athi-Patra Ruga, Bass Museum of Art, Miami

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2015

A Land Without A People… For A People Without A Land, In Situ, Paris

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2015

The Elder of Azania, Grahamstown National Arts Festival, Grahamstown

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2014

The Future White Women of Azania Saga - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town

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2012

Ilulwane, Solo Presentation at Long Street Baths, Cape Town

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2011

Ilulwane Performa 11, New York City, New York

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CV

Group exhibitions & fairs

2019

Transamerica/n: Gender, Identity, Appearance Today, McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas

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2019

Not What You Want To See, Factoria Habana, Havana Biennale, Havana

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2019

Radical Love, Ford Foundation, New York

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2019

Kiss My Gender, Hayward Gallery, London

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2019

Crossing Night: Regional Identities x Global Context, MOCAD (The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit), Michigan

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2018

Ravelled Threads, Sean Kelly Gallery, Seattle

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2018

CLOSE, Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG), Johannesburg

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2018

Africa State of Mind, New Art Exchange, Nottingham

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2018

Dress Up, Speak Up: Costume and Confrontation, 21c, Louisville

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2018

Soft Power, Transpallete Center for contemporary Art, Bourges, France

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CV

Publications & essays

2014

F.W.W.O.A SAGA

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2012

The Works 2006-2013

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