Athi-Patra Ruga (b. 1984, Umtata, South Africa) lives and works between Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa. Solo shows include Bass Museum of Art, Miami, USA (2016) and In Situ, Paris, France (2015). Recent group exhibitions and biennales include Louis Vuitton Foundation, Paris, France (2017); South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa (2016); Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (2015); and Tate Modern, London, UK (2015).
Ruga’s work explores the radical potentials of the queer Black body in relation to sensuality, culture and ideology. His multidisciplinary practice addresses issues specifically related to the African context with an emphasis on the place occupied by queerness within post-apartheid South Africa. Ruga often creates alternative identities and uses these avatars as a way to elaborate the history of a colonial past, to criticize the current political and social status and to propose a possible humanistic vision for the future.