Cinema and fiction. Unusual circumstance, comedy and error. Currently on exhibition at Rokeby is a photographic series by the artist Doug Fishbone. Made concurrently to a feature-length film of the artist's recently closed at Tate Britain, Elmina places Fishbone as the lead role in a drama, with the white, Jewish, New Yorker playing a Ghanian farmer fighting corruption and exploitation of the village by a Chinese multinational corporation.
Written and produced by a leading Ghanian production company and starring a cast of famous Ghanian and Nigerian actors, the film brings together two disparate communities and economies - the Western art world and the African film industry. Fishbone is known for producing philosophical comedies of the absurd, performances and installations to disorient the audience and this film and series of parallel photographs expands on this to bring the almost-surreal to what is a mainstream potboiler.
Made in Ghana, the film will be released in Africa as a DVD and VCD and as an editioned artwork alongside the photographs in the mainstream (Western?) art world. Fishbone says that he hopes for the film to be and do 'something interesting'. And if you haven't heard a bigger understatement already this year, I doubt you will.
Elmina by Doug Fishbone is at Rokeby Gallery, London until 15 January, 2011.
all images from Elmina, Doug Fishbone (2010).