Athi-Patra Ruga

ABOUT


Born Umtata, South Africa in 1984 and lives and works in both Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Exploring the border-zones between fashion, performance and contemporary art, Athi-Patra Ruga makes work that exposes and subverts the body in relation to structure, ideology and politics. Bursting with eclectic multicultural references, carnal sensuality and a dislocated undercurrent of humor, his performances, videos, costumes and photographic images create a world where cultural identity is no longer determined by geographical origins, ancestry or biological disposition, but is increasingly becoming a hybrid construct. A Utopian counter-proposal to the sad dogma of the division between mind and body, sensuality and intelligence, pop culture, craft and fine art, his works expresses the eroticism of knowledge and reconciles the dream with experience.

Recent exhibitions include: Under a Tinsel Sun the main exhibition of the III Moscow International Biennale For Young Art; Making Way, in collaboration with Mikhael Subotzky at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, South Africa; Ilulwane, a solo performance at PERFORMA11 (NY) as well as Infecting the City (CPT); Beauty and Pleasure in Contemporary South African Art at the Stenersen Museum in Oslo, Norway; the Guangzhou Trienalle in China; Ampersand at the Daimler Collection (Berlin); A Life Less Ordinary - Performance and Display in South African Art, (UK); For Those Who Live in It - Pop culture Politics and Strong Voices, MU (Holland); Athi-Patra Ruga - The Works, Solo Exhibition at FRED (London) and Dak’Art - Biennale of African Contemporary Art (Dakar).

Athi-Patra Ruga was also recently included in the Phaidon book ‘Younger Than Jesus’, a directory of over 500 of the world’s best artists under the age of 33. His works form part of private public and museum collections here and abroad, namely: Museion - Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Bolzano Italy; CAAC - Pigozzi Collection; The Wedge Collection, Iziko South African National Gallery.

EXHIBITIONS


2013
Solo Exhibition:
The Future White Women of Azania Saga WHATIFTHEWORLD
Selected Group Exhibitions:
Films for Peace , Screened Worldwide including South Africa, Paris, London, New York, Sydney
Sharp Sharp Johanesburg ,Gaite Lyrique ,Paris
The Beautyful Ones , Galerie Nolan Judin, Berlin
Imaginary Fact, 55th La Biennale di Venezia,South African Pavillion Venice
Between the Lines, Braunschweig University of Art, Berlin
Making Way: Contemporary Art from South Africa and China, Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg

2012
A SHOT IN THE ARSE, The Michaelis Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
Under a Tinsel Sun, The III Moscow International Biennale For Young Art, Moscow, Russia
Making Way, in collaboration with Mikhael Subotzky, National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, South Africa
Neither Man Nor Stone, IZIKO South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
Ilulwane, solo presentation at Long Street Baths, Cape Town, South Africa

2011
BECOMING: Photographs from the Wedge Collection, Nasher Museum of Art, North Carolina, USA
Solo Presentation at VOLTA New York City, New York
A Tribute to Photography, Primo Marella Gallery, Milan, Italy
Living as Form Exhibition, New York
Ilulwane, solo presentation at Performa 11, New York City, New York

2010
From Pierneef to Gugulective, South African National Gallery, Cape Town
Athi-Patra Ruga - The Works, Solo Exhibition FRED Gallery, London, England
For Those Who Live in It - Pop culture Politics and Strong Voices, MU Foundation, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
DADA South?, South African National Gallery, Cape Town
X HOMES, Performance Art Series, Johanesburg
The Body In Question IV: La Momma Morta, Solo Exhibition, YOUNG BLACKMAN, Cape Town]
Africa, Assume Art Position!, Primo Marella Gallery, Milan, Italy

2009
A Life Less Ordinary; Performance and Display in South African Art, Djanogly Art Gallery, Nottingham, United Kingdom [Cat]
After He Left, Solo Exhibition, YOUNG BLACKMAN, Cape Town
… Mister Floating Signifier and the Deadboyz, Solo Exhibition, Whatiftheworld / Gallery, Cape Town
Beauty and Pleasure in Contemporary South African Art, Stenersen Museet, Oslo, Norway
Infecting the City, Cape Town CBD, South Africa
Spot on Dak’Art - 2008 Retrospective, IFA Gallery, Berlin, Germany
Pret a Partager (More than the sum of its parts), IFA Gallery, Stuttgart, Germany
Big Wednesday, Whatiftheworld Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

2008
Peripheral Vision and Collective Body, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Bolzano, Italy
Big Wednesday, Whatiftheworld / Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
…of bugchasers and watusi faghags, Solo Exhibition, Art Extra, Johannesburg, South Africa
Disguise: The art of attracting and deflecting attention, Michael Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
Upstairs/Downstairs, Association of Visual Arts, Cape Town, South Africa
The Trickster, Art Extra, Johannesburg, South Africa

2007
Impossible Monsters, Art Extra, Johannesburg, South Africa
Miss Congo, Performance in collaboration with Christopher Martin, Confluence 4.2, DesignIndaba 10
“She is dancing in the Rain with her hand in the toaster”, Performance in collaboration with Christopher Martin, Michael Stevenson Contemporary, Cape Town, South Africa
Inj’ibhabha Series, Jaundiced Arcadia / Tales of Counterpenetration, Progr zentrum fur kulturproduction, Bern, Switzerland

2006
Doc. no3, Die Naai Masjien - Miss Congo, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo

2005
Doc. no2, Die Naai Masjien- The Revenge of the 9ft Ma-Benz and her Toothless Taxi Kings, Elle New Talent Awards / South African Fashion Week.

2004
Doc. no1, Die Naai Masjien - Familie Fortuin, Elle New Talent Awards / South African Fashion Week

RESIDENCIES


2007
A.I.R., PROGR- Zentrum fur Kulturproduction. Bern, Switzerland.
Kin Be Jozi, August House, Johannesburg, South Africa

2006
Scenographies Urbaines, Lingwala, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo