Line | Colour | Shape | Form
Timed Online Auction, 17 - 27 November 2023
About this Item
signed, dated 17 and numbered 61/100
Athi-Patra Ruga is one of the few artists working in South Africa today whose work has adopted the trope of myth as a contemporary response to the post-Apartheid era. Ruga creates alternative identities and uses these avatars to parody and critique the existing political and social status quo. Ruga’s artistic approach of creating myths and alternate realities is in some way an attempt to view the traumas of the last 200 years of colonial history from a place of detachment – at a farsighted distance where wounds can be contemplated outside of personalized grief and subjective defensiveness.
The philosophical allure and allegorical value of utopia has been central to Ruga’s practice. His construction of a mythical universe populated by characters that he has created and depicted in his work has allowed Ruga to create an interesting space of self-reflexivity in which political, cultural, and social systems can be critiqued and parodied. Ruga has used his utopia as a lens to process the fraught history of a colonial past, to critique the present and propose a possible humanist vision for the future.