The Conceptual Argument for China’s Big Business in Fake Art
Doug Fishbone often uses satire and humour within his film, performance and installation works to examine consumer culture and the mass media in a critical and disarming way. Recent work investigates a range of questions about art and the relativity of perception whilst examining ideas of representation and asking how reception differs depending on context and channels of reception. Elmina connects two vastly different cultural situations - Western conceptual art and the African home video market. Filmed in Ghana with major Ghanaian celebrities, the movie's only artistic intervention is the insertion of Fishbone, a white American artist, as the lead role in a completely African production. The work fully adopts Ghanaian film making conventions, taking advantage of the shared language used and the low cost structure of the Ghanaian home video industry. The series of photographs produced in parallel to the filming of Elmina examine the relationship between still photography and cinema whilst exploring the narrative paradox and enigmas of the film still.
Doug Fishbone is a self-identified satirist whose performances and films influenced by stand-up comedy are sharply critical of mass media, global politics, and social plights. Fishbone explains that the “jokes all reflect the broader themes of cultural misunderstanding and the relativity between different world views.” He appropriates images from the internet and popular culture as part of his work, and has designed a logo for himself as an ironic placeholder for an artist’s signature. Fishbone became famous for his notorious public installation in London’s Trafalgar Square in 2004, in which the artist left 30,000 ripe bananas on the ground to be consumed by passers-by. He also garnered international attention for his collaborative film Elmina, created with a film team from Ghana.
English , b. 1969