Pieter Hugo, ‘Emeka Onu, Enugu, Nigeria from Nollywood’, 2008, Phillips

Image: 102 x 102 cm (40 1/8 x 40 1/8 in.)
Frame: 113.5 x 113.5 cm (44 5/8 x 44 7/8 in.)

From the Catalogue:
South African photographer Pieter Hugo was first introduced to Nollywood films while working on Hyena and Other Men. Fascinated by the quick pace despite its elaborate and melodramatic narratives, Hugo sought to create a series that straddled the line between documentary and fiction. He worked with whichever actors were available, in full make up and costume, posing them on any free set. These elaborate tableaux document the extravagance of Nollywood while subverting traditional Western representations of Africa. In Hugo’s own words, ‘What made this approach more powerful was the fact that the people I was portraying in stereotypical roles were actors, who were being paid to be somebody else.’
Courtesy of Phillips

Signature: Signed in ink, printed title, date and number 2/9 on a Certificate of Authenticity label affixed to the reverse of the flush-mount.

P. Hugo, Nollywood, Prestel, 2009, n.p.

Michael Stevenson, Cape Town

About Pieter Hugo

One of South Africa’s leading photographers, Pieter Hugo documents the people and landscapes of Africa. Hugo is interested in capturing images of the continent’s marginalized peoples, including the blind, albinos, and AIDS victims in their coffins. His best-known series, “The Hyena and Other Men” (2005-07), depicts itinerant minstrels in Nigeria who perform with pet hyenas and other wild animals. In his series “Permanent Error” (2009-10), Hugo captures the people and landscape of an expansive technology dump of obsolete technology in Ghana. Though he lists David Goldblatt and Boris Mikhailov as influences, Hugo’s work counters the thread of realism in South African photography the two represent. “I am of a generation that approaches photography with a keen awareness of the problems inherent in pointing a camera at anything,” he says.

South African, b. 1976, Cape Town, South Africa

Group Shows

Cape Town,
New York,
Great Journeys: The Magnum Square Print Sale In Partnership With Aperture
Kunsthalle Erfurt, 
Erfurt, Germany,
Road Atlas - Straßenfotografie, DZ Bank Collection
Kunstmuseum Dieselkraftwerk Cottbus, 
Cottbus, Germany,
Road Atlas - Straßenfotografie, DZ Bank Collection
Rüsselsheim, Germany,
Road Atlas - Straßenfotografie, DZ Bank Collection
Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie, 
Arles, France,
Les Rencontres d'Arles 2008
View Artist's CV