Athi-Patra Ruga

b. 1984, South Africa

Even I Exist In Embo: Jaundiced Tales Of Counterpenetration #1, 2007
Lightjet print
Edition of 5

Image courtesy Whatiftheworld gallery, South Africa, & the artist
This was part of a photographic series that Ruga created while he was on a residency in Switzerland. It was inspired by an advert depicting white and black sheep – the latter signifying criminals and foreigners. He found the costume – an Afro at a fancy-dress store. This image reflects a mode Ruga embraced in his performative practice – embodying a hyper-expression of otherness and parading in public spaces. Black hair is the primary signifier of ‘otherness’ in this instance (as per the poster) – Ruga (who performs himself) is a female subject whose entire being is colonised by black hair.