Thania Petersen

Thania Petersen (b. 1980, Cape Town, South Africa) is a multi-disciplinary artist who uses photography, performance and installation to address the intricacies and complexities of her identity in contemporary South Africa. Thania Petersen studied at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art in London. Petersen’s reference points sit largely in Islam and in creating awareness about its religious, cultural and traditional practices. She attempts to unpack contemporary trends of Islamophobia through her analysis of the continuing impact of colonialism, European and American imperialism, and the increasing influence of right-wing ideologies. Threads in her work include the history of colonialist imperialism in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, as well as the social and cultural impact of westernised consumer culture. Her work is also informed by her Cape Malay heritage, and the practice of Sufi Islamic religious ceremonies. Her solo exhibitions include Thania Petersen Selected Works, No Mans Art Gallery, Amsterdam (2019); Unraveled, commissioned performance, Afrovibes, Compagnietheatre, Amsterdam (2019); IQRA, WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town South Africa (2019); Between Land and a Raised Foot, National Arts festival Cape Town (2019); Remnants, Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa (2017); I AM ROYAL, AVA Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa (2015). In 2021, Petersen will take part in a group show at Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London. Her other recent group exhibitions include Gather, Smac Gallery, Cape Town (2020); Curitiba Biennale, Oscar Niemeyer Museum, Brazil (2019); The South African National Arts Festival, Grahamstown (2019); Urban Axis, PS Art Space Fremantle, Perth, Australia (2017); Beyond Binaries, Kwa-Zulu Natal Society of Arts Museum (2017); People and Portraiture, CIRCA, Cape Town, South Africa (2017); Studio, IZIKO South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa (2016). Petersen is represented in various public and private collections including The Smithsonian African Art Museum, The Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam, The Durban Art Gallery, The IZIKO South African National Gallery, Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA), The Kilbourn Collection, The Jochen Zeitz Collection, and The Yeojoo City Collection, South Korea.