Renowned South African photographer Pieter Hugo's Nollywood series goes beyond simple documentary photography to explore the multilayered reality of the Nigerian film industry in a series of other-worldly portraits of the bizarre characters that typify Nollywood productions.
Nollywood, an industry whose prolific output is second only to Bollywood, releases up to a thousand titles a year onto the local home-video market, using cheap equipment, basic scripts, actors cast on the day of shooting and real locations. Hugo was so intrigued by Nollywood that he asked a team of actors to pose as the various charcters and photographed them. The deadpan portraits of actors and others staged in 'real life' settings in Southern Nigerian cities, which are the principal centres of film production, evoke a strangely unreal world where everyday reality any myth, fact and fiction are closely intermingled.
Pieter Hugo: Nollywood - An Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane touring exhibition. Images courtesy of Pieter Hugo and IMA.