Curatorial Voices: African Landscapes, Past and Present

Live Virtual Auction, 19 February 2024

Curatorial Voices: African Landscapes, Past and Present
About the Session

From Thomas Baines to Jake Aikman, Curatorial Voices: African Landscapes, Past and Present will showcase art by pioneering modernist and trailblazing contemporary artists, spanning 175 years of visual landscape painting on the African continent. This comprehensive auction reveals a nuanced understanding of the diverse cultural, historical, and environmental contexts that have shaped artistic representations of the landscape. Through an examination of various themes, the auction seeks to engage viewers in a dialogue that transcends time and space, connecting past representations to contemporary perspectives. The auction attempts to engage with the diversity of artists that have shaped and continue to shape the depiction of Africa through time.

The auction invites viewers on a captivating journey through the artistic expressions that mirror the multifaceted nature of African terrain. Through meticulous  curation and insightful analysis, the catalogue aspires to be a valuable resource for scholars, art enthusiasts and anyone eager to embark on a thought-provoking exploration of Africa’s rich and complex artistic heritage.

Curatorial Voices
Recognising the dynamic discourse surrounding African Landscape, both past and present, the auction features texts by invited contemporary curators responding to the auction selection and themes. As external voices, they provide critical insights into the complexities of the landscape theme. By amplifying these contemporary perspectives, the exhibition seeks to bridge the gap between traditional representations and the ever-evolving discourse on the role of African art within the global art market.

Azza Satti, Independent Curator, Kenya
Azu Nwagbogu, Founder and Director of the African Artists’ Foundation (AAF), Nigeria
Camilla van Hoogstraten, Head of Sales, Latitudes Online
Ugoma Ebilah, Curator, Gallerist & Founder of Bloom Art
Nkgopoleng Moloi, Independent Curator, South Africa


  • Athi-Patra Ruga; Documentation from Athi-Patra Ruga's performance of 'The Future White Woman of Azania' in Grahamstown South Africa, 2012, Performa Obscura
  • Athi-Patra Ruga; Documentation from Athi-Patra Ruga's performance of 'The Future White Woman of Azania' in Grahamstown South Africa, 2012, Performa Obscura
  • Athi-Patra Ruga; Documentation from Athi-Patra Ruga's performance of 'The Future White Woman of Azania' in Grahamstown South Africa, 2012, Performa Obscura


Lot Estimate
ZAR 180 000 - 240 000
Location
Cape Town
Make an Offer
The item was unsold and may still be available

About this Item

South African 1984-
Documentation from Athi-Patra Ruga's performance of 'The Future White Woman of Azania' in Grahamstown South Africa, 2012, Performa Obscura

accompanied by a WHATIFTHEWORLD Gallery certificate of authenticity, signed, dated 12/06/2015, inscribed with the artist's name, dated 2012, the title and medium

lightjet print on dibond
image size: 79,5 by 118,5cm; 87 by 127 by 4cm including frame

Notes

Image Courtesy of Ruth Simbao and Athi Patra Ruga

Photographer: Ruth Simbao

The present lot derives from a collaborative work between Athi-Patra Ruga and Mikhael Subotzky, curated and photographed by Ruth Simbao in 2012, titled Performance Obscura. It was a compelling and thought-provoking performance that encapsulated the artist's exploration of identity, gender, and post-colonial narratives. In this site-situational performance, Ruga confronted the potential furtive gaze associated with the 19th-century camera obscura, subverting its historical function as a tool of surveillance.

In a 2014 analysis of the performance, Ruth Simbao highlights the dynamic interplay between expectation and reality in live art. The paying audience, anticipating a privileged view of Ruga's character through the camera obscura, found themselves redirected on a standard tour of Grahamstown. While Ruga, defiantly parading the streets in his elaborate balloon attire, reclaimed agency by engaging with casual bystanders who captured the performance on their cellphones.¹

The artwork is a part of Ruga's larger body of work that delves into the complexities of South Africa's history and the intricate interplay between race, culture, and personal identity. Azania, an alternate name for South Africa, becomes a symbolic landscape in Ruga's narrative – a realm where the artist reimagines and deconstructs preconceived notions of the continent and its people.

1. Ruth Simbao (2014) Site-Situational Performances in Cosmolocal Places: Athi-Patra Ruga and Anthea Moys, paper presented at the Art Council of the African Studies Association conference, Brooklyn Museum of Fine Art.

This lot has been selected by Curatorial Voice: Azza Satti

Exhibited

Yerba Buena Centre for the Arts and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, Public Intimacy: Art and Other Ordinary Acts in South Africa, 14 February to 8 June 2014, another example from the edition exhibited.

Literature

Glen Helfand (2014) Photograph Mag, Public Intimacy: Art and Other Ordinary Acts in South Africa, online, https://photographmag.com/reviews/publicintimacy-art-and-other-ordinary-acts-insouth-africa/, accessed 24 November 2023.

View all Athi-Patra Ruga lots for sale in this auction



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