(“Approved Model of the New Azania,” Athi-Patra Ruga)
Much of the work by South African Artist Athi-Patra Ruga takes a deeper look at gender and identity in post-colonial Africa by employing a complex, fantasy world. Works by Ruga, as well as Nigerian photographer Lakin Ogunbanwo, and Zimbabwean artist Moffat Takadiwa, and many more are currently on view at What if the World Gallery in Capetown, South Africa, in a group show titled “Uncertain Terms.”
According to the exhibitions press release,
Symbolic representations of state, citizenship and revolution are a strong undercurrent to much of the exhibition, particularly in the works of artists Athi-Patra Ruga and Rowan Smith. Whilst radically different in medium and approach both challenge the widely accepted platitudes of nation building and primacy of the state. Smith’s work seeks to empty symbols of their significance – to strip them of the patina of truth. Ruga’s work performs in exactly the opposite way, proliferating ideologies and embellishing extravagant symbols to support them. Both function as a reaction to South Africa’s status as a post revolutionary state, a foil to empty political rhetoric and growing class disparity.
Within the context of the post-colonial state, ideas expressed by artists like Smith and Ruga spill into discourse around migration and the experience of exile and alienation of people living in the diaspora.
“Uncertain Terms” is taking place now through January 24, 2015 at What If The World.
(“Proposed Model of the New Azanian,” Athi-Patra Ruga)