Athi-Patra Ruga is one of South Africa’s most renowned performance artists. He has performed and exhibited in many places around the world including London, Buenos Aires, Milan, China and most recently, New York.
Ruga debuted in New York with Ilulwane, “a synchronized-swimming performance originally inspired by Alvin Baltrop’s 1970s and ’80s photographs. It reflects on the passage of time in both New York and in the artists own Xhosa culture, drawing on themes of masculinity, traditional initiation ceremonies and the AIDS crisis”.
Ilulwane was shown as part of Performa 11 – the fourth edition of the internationally acclaimed biennial of new visual art performance held in New York city from 1st to 21st of November 2011. Performa magazine billed the event as “a showcase of over one hundred of the most exciting artists working today”, a testament to Ruga’s ascendancy in the last few years.
Ruga’s prolific local and international art production/exhibition promises to bring Illulwane to South Africa. ” #Ilulwane South African premier in December” tweeted Ruga after his show. I wasn’t able to get to New York but I sure as hell wont miss this one!