Athi-Patra Ruga (b.1984) is based in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa.
In this series of prints, Athi has chosen to insert his body directly into the print-making process. Tackling the print convention that is charaterised by a matrix and a press, Athi activated his own body as both image matrix and printing press in a three-part performance that saw the live creation of the print within a gallery context.
…ellipsis in three parts was a three part performance that took place in the Michaelis Galleries on the University of Cape Town’s Hiddingh campus with three female performers on three separate days. Both the artist and the performers were covered in body paint and engaged in a violent wrestle during which their bodies marked the paper attached to the gallery walls. The print edition is thus the trace of this live performance.
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: 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.
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.