Biography

Thania Petersen (b. 1980, Cape Town) is a South African multidisciplinary artist who uses photography, performance, and installation to address the intricacies and complexities of her identity in contemporary South Africa. Petersen’s work highlights how present-day imperialist agendas impose orientalist views onto diverse communities worldwide. The artist’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 westernized consumer culture. Recent exhibitions include KASSARAM, Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town (2021, solo); Self-Addressed, curated by Kehinde Wiley, Jeffrey Deitch, Los Angeles (2021); Un.e Air.e de Famille, Musée d’art et d’histoire Paul Eluard, Saint-Denis (2021); Between Land and a Raised Foot, National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, South Africa (2019, solo); Radical Love, Ford Foundation, New York (2019); and IQRA, WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town (2019, solo).