Athi-Patra Ruga (b.1984, South Africa )

Athi-Patra Ruga was born in 1984 in Umtata, South Africa and now 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.

An 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.

Ruga , Athi-Patra b.1984

related artists / South Africa / Africa