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Athi Patra Ruga

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Nationality  South African
Name  Athi-Patra Ruga
Athi-Patra Ruga
Born  1984Umtata
Known for  Performance art, printmaking, mixed media

Standard bank young artist award 2015 athi patra ruga performance art

Athi-Patra Ruga is a South African artist who uses performance, video, textiles, and printmaking to explore notions of utopia and dystopia, material and memory. His work explores the body in relation to sensuality, culture, and ideology, often creating cultural hybrids. Ruga was 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. In 2014 he presented at Design Indaba Conference in Cape Town.


Athi patra ruga design is the discipline to art



  • Uncertain Terms - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
  • African Odysseys, Espace culturel Louis Vuitton, Paris, France
  • PROXIMO FUTURO / NEXT FUTURE, Programa Gulbenkian de Cultura Contemporanea, Lisbon, Portugal
  • Public Intimacy, SFMOMA, San Francisco
  • Brave New World...20 Years of Democracy, IZIKO South African National Gallery, Cape Town
  • The Future White Women of Azania Saga - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
  • 2013

  • Between the Lines, Braunschweig University of Art, Berlin
  • Making Way: Contemporary Art from South Africa and China, Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg
  • Imaginary Fact, 55th La Biennale di Venezia, South African Pavilion, Venice
  • The Beautyful Ones, Galerie Nolan Judin, Berlin
  • Films for Peace , Screened Worldwide including South Africa, Paris, London, New York, Sydney
  • Sharp Sharp, Johannesburg, Gaite Lyrique, Paris
  • 2012

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


  • A.I.R., PROGR- Zentrum fur Kulturproduction. Bern, Switzerland.
  • Kin Be Jozi. August House, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • 2006

  • Scenographies Urbaines. Lingwala, Kinshasa, D.R.C.
  • Ilulwane

    Ilulwane was a synchronized-swimming performance inspired by Alvin Baltrop’s 1970s and 80s photographs, reflecting on the passage of time in both New York and in the artist’s own Xhosa culture. Ilulwane was performed in Cape Town at the Long Street Baths during the Infecting the City Public Arts Festival in 2012

    ...elipsis in three parts

    …ellipsis in three parts is a performance that took place in the Michaelis Galleries at the University of Cape Town with three female performers on three separate days. The artist and performers were covered in body paint and as they wrestled across the gallery walls, they created the print as a record of the live performance. Thus Ruga involves his body directly into the printmaking process.


    Athi-Patra Ruga Wikipedia

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