Ruth Sacks

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Ruth Sacks is a South African visual artist who lives and works in Johannesburg. Her 3rd artist book, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under Seas, was launched in 2013. Group exhibitions include: The Global Contemporary: Art Worlds after 1989 at ZKM |Centre for Art and Media (Germany, 2011), Performa 09, facilitated by the Museum for African Art New York (USA, 2009) and Luanda_Pop Checklist at the 52nd Venice Biennale (Italy, 2007). In 2013 and 2014, she was one of the organizers of Regions A-G, a program of artist interventions at the Johannesburg City Library. Recent solo shows have been: Open Endings at TTTT  in Ghent (Belgium, 2015), 2,000 Meters Above the Sea at the Center for Historical Reenactments in Johannesburg (SA, 2012) and Double-sided Accumulated at Extraspazio in Rome (Italy, 2010).

Sacks was born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, in 1977. She is currently based at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WiSER), where she is a doctoral fellow. Together with Simon Gush, she facilitates the collaborative arts platform, the Parking Gallery, which was hosted by the Visual Arts Network of South Africa (VANSA) in 2012 and 2013. She is a laureate of the Higher Institute for Fine Art (HISK) in Ghent, Belgium.

Artist Statement

I tend to look at historical moments in architecture and the applied arts, particularly from the late 19th century, as a way of commenting on contemporary environments. I work with fictional narratives a lot; writing my own texts but also adapting existing material and familiar motifs to encourage new interpretations of dominant themes. I am interested in using installations and book works as a way of testing various design systems while at the same time developing new ones.
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