Athi-Patra Ruga

Exhibitions

Biography

Athi-Patra Ruga was born in 1984 in the Transkei, growing up between the former, Umtata and East London, where in 1999 he attended the Belgravia Art College. In 2004 Ruga was awarded a scholarship to study fashion design at the Gordon Flack Davidson Academy of Design in Johannesburg.

Currently living and working between Cape Town and Johannesburg, Ruga continues to integrate fashion design with art and performance. He is a mentor on the Adult Contemporary Projects, a series of exhibitions that support South Africa’s young unsigned art talent.

In 2015, Ruga was awarded The Grahamstown National Arts Festival’s 2015 Standard Bank Young Artist for Performance Art and presented The Elder of Azania, a work that is part of his ongoing performance series The Future Women of Azania, first conceived in 2010.

Other recent performances of The Elder of Azania were included in the Johannesburg Pavilion during the 56th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale in Italy All The World’s Futures curated by Okwui Enwezor in 2015 and Public Intimacy, Yerba Buena Centre/SFMOMA, San Francisco in 2014.

In 2016, Ruga was commissioned to do a performance piece entitled Over the Rainbow for the Performa Gala in New York. Other solo exhibitions include: Athi-Patra Ruga, Bass Museum of Art, Miami, Florida, USA (2016); A Land without a People… for a People without a Land, In Situ Fabienne Leclerc Gallery, Paris (2015) and a tapestry commission and exhibition for Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton (2014).

Recent group shows include AFRICA: Architecture, Culture and Identity, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Louisiana, USA (2015); The Film Will Always Be You: South African Artists on Screen, Tate Modern, London, UK (2014) and Imaginary Fact, 55th Venice Biennale, Johannesburg Pavilion, Venice, Italy (2013).

Athi-Patra Ruga was featured in ‘Younger Than Jesus’, Phaidon (2009), a directory of over 500 of the world’s best artists under the age of 33 and many other publications such as The Routledge Companion to Art and Politics (2015) and Performa 11: Staging Ideas (2013). His works are included in international private and public collections.

Education

2004

Gordon Flack Davidson Academy of Design, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2016

Over the Rainbow, Performa Gala commission, New York, NY, USA.

Athi-Patra Ruga, Kunstraum Innsbruck, Austria.

Athi-Patra Ruga, Bass Museum of Art, Miami, Florida, USA.

2015

Solo Performance, Lumières d’Afriques, Théâtre Le Chaillot, Paris, France.

A Land without a People...for a People without a Land, Galerie In Situ-fabienne leclerc, Paris, France.

The Elder of Azania, Grahamstown National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, South Africa.

2014

The Future White Women of Azania Saga, Whatiftheworld, Cape Town, South Africa. (C)

2012

Ilulwane solo performance, Long Street Baths, Cape Town, South Africa.

Future White Woman of Azania, GIPCA Live Art Festival, Cape Town, South Africa.

2011

Ilulwane solo performance, Performa 11, New York City, New York, USA.

2010

The Body In Question IV: La Mamma Morta, Young Blackman, Cape Town, South Africa.

Athi Patra Ruga: The Works, Fred Gallery, London, UK.

Teeth are the Only Bones that Show, Whatiftheworld, Cape Town, South Africa.

2009

Mister Floating Signifier and the Deadboyz, Whatiftheworld, Cape Town, South Africa.

After He Left, Young Blackman, Cape Town, South Africa.

2008

‘...of bugchasers and watusi faghags, Art Extra, Johannesburg, South Africa.

2007

She is dancing in the rain with her hand in the toaster, Michael Stevenson Contemporary, Cape Town, South Africa.

Inj’ibhabha Series:Jaundiced Arcadia – Tales of Counterpenetration, Progr-Zentrum fur Kulturproduction, Bern, Switzerland.

2006

Doc. n.3, Die Naai Masjien – Miss Congo, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.

Selected Group Exhibitions

2016

Dear Europa…, Whatiftheworld, Cape Town, South Africa.

Re(as)sisting Narratives, Framer Framed, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

An Age of Our Own Making, Museum of Contemporary Art Roskilde and Roskilde Festival, Roskilde, Denmark.

Making Africa: A Continent of Contemporary Design, Guggenheim, Bilbao, Spain.

A Decimation by any Other, Bass Museum of Art, Miami Florida, USA.

Design Indaba Festival 2016, Artscape Theatre, Cape Town, South Africa.

Queer Threads: Crafting Identity and Community (touring), Mills Gallery, Boston Center for the Arts (BCA) Boston, MA, USA.

2015

Broken English, Tyburn Gallery, London, UK.

Queer Threads: Crafting Identity and Community, Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Making Africa: A Continent of Contemporary Design, Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, Germany.

Studio – Celebrating the Lives and Work of South African Artists, South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa.

Foreign Bodies, Whatiftheworld, Cape Town, South Africa.

Battleground, Albany History Museum, Grahamstown, South Africa.

AFRICA: Architecture, Culture and Identity, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen, Denmark.

The Elder of Azania, Solo Performance at the Johannesburg Pavilion, 56th La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy.

The Film Will Always Be You: South African Artists on Screen, Tate Modern, London, UK.

2015 Joburg Art Fair, Whatiftheworld, Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg.

Lumières d'Afriques, Theatre National De Chaillot, Paris, France.

TheArmoryShow2016, New York City, USA.

Athi-Patra Ruga, Miami Beach Regional Library Auditorium, Miami Beach, Florida, USA.

African Odysseys, The Brass Artscape, Brussels, Belgium.

2014

Uncertain Terms, Whatiftheworld, Cape Town, South Africa.

Próximo Futuro/ Next, Programa Gulbenkian de Cultura Contemporânea, Lisbon, Portugal.

Brave New World...20 Years of Democracy, Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa.

Public Intimacy, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, USA.

2013

Between the Lines, Braunschweig University of Art, Berlin, Germany.

Making Way: Contemporary Art from South Africa and China, Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Imaginary Fact, 55th La Biennale di Venezia, South African Pavilion, Venice, Italy.

The Beautyful Ones, Galerie Nolan Judin, Berlin, Germany.

Sharp Sharp, Johannesburg, Gaîté Lyrique, Paris, France.

Films for Peace, Screened Worldwide: South Africa, Paris, London, New York, Sydney.

2012

Neither Man Nor Stone, IZIKO South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa.

Making Way, in collaboration with Mikhael Subotzky, National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, South Africa.

Under a Tinsel Sun, The III Moscow International Biennale For Young Art, Moscow, Russia.

A Shot in the Arse, The Michaelis Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa.

2011

Living as Form Exhibition, New York, USA.

A Tribute to Photography, Primo Marella Gallery, Milan, Italy.

Becoming: Photographs from the Wedge Collection, Nasher Museum of Art, North Carolina, USA.

Solo presentation VOLTA, New York City, New York, USA.

2010

Africa, Assume Art Position, Primo Marella Gallery, Milan, Italy and South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa.

X Homes, Performance Art Series, Johannesburg, South Africa.

From Pierneef to Gugulective, South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa.

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, South Africa.

2009

Prêt-à-partager – more than the sun of its parts, Ifa Gallery, Stuttgart, Germany.

Spot on Dakart 2008 Retrospective, Ifa Gallery, Berlin, Germany.

Infecting the City Festival, Cape Town, South Africa.

A Life Less Ordinary; Performance and Display in South African Art, Djanogly Art Gallery, Nottingham, UK.

Beauty and Pleasure in Contemporary South African Art, Stenersen Museum, Oslo, Norway.

2008

The Trickster, Art Extra, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Big Wednesday, Whatiftheworld, Cape Town, South Africa.

Upstairs/Downstairs, Association of Visual Arts, Cape Town, South Africa.

Peripheral Vision and Collective Body, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Bolzano, Italy.

Disguise: The art of attracting and deflecting attention, Michael Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa.

2007

Impossible Monsters, Art Extra, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Miss Congo/TinTin’s aHo, Performance in collaboration with Christopher Martin, Confluence 4.2, Design Indaba 10, Cape Town, South Africa.

2006

Doc. n.3, Die Naai Masjien – Miss Congo, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.

Monographs

2014

F.W.W.O.A SAGA, Whatiftheworld, Cape Town, South Africa.

2012

The Works 2006 – 2013, Whatiftheworld, Cape Town, South Africa.

Publications

2016

Hertz, Betti-Sue (et al.), Public Intimacy Art and other ordinary acts in South Africa, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francesco, 2016.

2015

Martin, Randy (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Art and Politics, Edited by Randy Martin, Routledge, 2015.

2013

Arlt, Veit and Macamo, Elisio and Obrist, Brigit (eds.), Living the City in Africa: Processes of Invention and Intervention, LIT Verlag, Münster, 2013.

Goldberg, RoseLee (ed.) Performa 11: Staging Ideas, East of Borneo, 2013.

2012

Thompson, Nato (ed.), Living as Form: Socially Engaged Art from 1991-2011, The MIT Press, 2012.

2009

Cornell, Lauren and Gioni, Massimiliano and Hoptman, Laura (eds.), Younger Than Jesus, Artist Directory, Phaidon, New York, 2009.

Williamson, Sue (ed.), South African Art Now, Harper Collins Design, 2009.

Biography & Press

2016

Moss, Hillary, A Performance Artist Tackles South African Identity, for a New York Audience, nytimes.com, 2 November 2016

Bongela, Milisuthando, Athi-Patra Ruga Glistens and Glows at Performa Biennale, mg.co.za, 4 November 2016

Hunkin, Jessica, Reflecting on the vivid dystopia of Athi-Patra Ruga's 6-year parade, 10and5.com, 5 September 2016.

Damgaard Nielson, Julie, Athi-Patra Ruga, images.holbaek.dk, 23rd June 2016

Steadman, Ryan, The Armory Show Unveils a New Era for African Art, observer.com, 2nd March 2016

Disser, Nicole, 16 Works We Loved at 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, bedfordandbowery.com, 10th May 2016

Jennings, Helen, Athi-Patra Ruga, nataal.com, April 2016

Arroyo, Eddie, The Future White Women of Azania, artisabout.com, 23 February 2016.

Cascone, Sarah, 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair Will be Bigger and Better in 2016, news.artnet.com, 09 February 2016.

Henriette, Hadley, The Bass Ball and the Keep the Ball Rolling Afterparty, hauteliving.com, 18 February 2016.

Kaplan, Isaac, 8 Projects Asserting Contemporary African Art’s Equal Standing to Unfold at The Armory Show, artsy.net, 02 February 2016.

Mosovich, Galena, BassX to do South African performance art series, miamiherald.com, 12 February 2016.

Rogers, Pat, The Armory Show Special Projects: Time Based Works & Unexpected African Art, hamptonsarthub.com, 05 February 2016.

Steadman, Ryan, The Armory Show Unveils a New Era for African Art, observer.com, 02nd March 2016.

——, Focus: African Perspectives @ Armory Show, Nyc, juxtapoz.com, 03 March 2016.

——, South African Performance Artist Athi-Patra Ruga Creates The Future Of White Women Of Azania At Bassx, miaminewtimes.com, 19 February 2016.

—-, 21 Icons at the 2016 Design Indaba, themagnifyingglass.co.za, 18 February 2016.

2015

youngbuu, Athi Patra Ruga – First Icon Featured In The Prominent 21 Icons, barcodedmag.co.za, 09 September 2015.

2014

—-, Feature: The Experimental Mind Of Athi-Patra Ruga, And A Body Used For Art, afropunk.com, 13 October 2014.

2012

Stupart, Linda, Athi-Patra Ruga, Kaleidoscope Magazine, Issue 15, Summer 2012.

Awards

2015

Standard Bank Young Artist for Performance Art.

Collections

Museion, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Bolzano, Italy.

Contemporary African Art Collection, Cape Town, South Africa.

Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa.

The Wedge Collection, Toronto, Ontario.

Jean Pigozzi Private Collection.