Over the past ten years, Athi-Patra Ruga has explored the idea of a utopian ‘rainbow nation’ through performance, sculpture, video and textiles. Speaking of his interest in the relationship between utopias and political realities, Ruga states ‘I was born in the last years of apartheid and I’d always grown up with promises of a better tomorrow, of a better world’. For Kiss My Genders, Ruga transformed the windows of Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Hayward Gallery foyer and the Belvedere Road Billboard with images featuring a range of the artist’s unsettling avatars. Describing his work, the artist says, ‘It’s often very colourful yet frightening. The world is frightening at the moment. I’m making art in a frightening world.’
Athi-Patra Ruga (b. 1984, Mthatha, South Africa) lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa.
Artwork courtesy of Athi-Patra Ruga & WHATIFTHEWORLD.