Pieter Hugo: NollywoodPieter Hugo... John Dollar Emeka. Enugu, Nigeria 2008 (C-print). From the exhibition Pieter Hugo: Nollywood at Michael Stevenson Gallery in Cape Town, SA. "...In the Nollywood series, Hugo explores the multilayered reality of the Nigerian film industry. Photographs from the series were included on the exhibition Disguise: The art of attracting and deflecting attention at Michael Stevenson in May 2008. Hugo has subsequently returned to Nigeria to extend and deepen this body of work, and the series will be published in book form by Prestel in October 2009.
Nollywood is the third largest film industry in the world, releasing between 500 and 1 000 movies each year. It produces movies on its own terms, telling stories that appeal to and reflect the lives of its public: it is a rare instance of self-representation in Africa. The continent has a rich tradition of story-telling that has been expressed abundantly through oral and written fiction, but has never been conveyed through the mass media before. Stars are local actors; plots confront the public with familiar situations of romance, comedy, witchcraft, bribery, prostitution. The narrative is overdramatic, deprived of happy endings, tragic. The aesthetic is loud, violent, excessive; nothing is said, everything is shouted."