DODGE WEST POSTER
Dodge West Statement. 2014
Whereas the Wild West is an America heritage, its literature, movies and art are a global phenomenon. Growing up in Ghana as a child in the 1960s and 70s I watched TV series such as Bonanza and the Lone Ranger. We reenacted cowboy combat scenes and collected chewing gum cowboy cards, which we used as currency to play poker. In those days, during Christmas the most coveted toy for a boy to have was a cap gun, because they were very rare especially in Ghana where no one ever saw a real gun.
In retrospect, the mythologized Wild West has brought into scrutiny what actually happened from what is fiction. I am curious about anomalies and deviations of that history that may have been partially or fully ignored. For example, I am fascinated by the contributions of rugged female personalities such as Martha Jane Canary alias Calamity Jane, Stagecoach Mary Fields, Lillian Smith, Annie Oakley, and Pearl Hart, especially in a male-dominated occupation. In my research I was also intrigued by the fact that William Forbis in his book ‘The Old West’ (1973) states that nearly one cowboy in three was either Mexican or Black male.
However the objective in this project is not to ‘illuminate’ additional biographies of notoriety but to shed light on alternative perceptions and formulations of the Wild West history, such as the role of assertive women, a play on the surreal as characters fade in and out of dream-states and the mashed-up style of representation where the inconsequential narrative becomes dominant.
The process of shooting the videos involved locations that were not transformed or repurposed. We approached each scene with prompted themes and relevant minor props but no scripted dialogues but improvised conversations. We adapted available objects, décor, weather conditions, and space on location upon which scenes were developed.
The overarching concept was to approach the subject with nonlinear plots, by emphasizing experimentation and amplifying familiar myths and facts ‘bordering’ around duels, bar fights, raids, outlaws, gambling and debauchery. Furthermore there was little or no attempt to develop an elaborate and continuous narrative but ‘vignettes’ interwoven by video editing possibilities.
Video & Sound Editing
Assistant Video & Sound Editing
Brown Rust, 2013, 39.5 x 49.5 ins, oils, industrial enamels, collage on canvas,
Skoto Gallery, 529, W 20th St, #5, NY, NY, 10011, is pleased to present Collisions, an exhibition of recent paintings by the Ghanaian-born artist George Afedzi Hughes. This will be his second solo show at the gallery. The reception is Thursday, November 21st, 6-8pm, and the artist will be present. Exhibition ends on January 18th 2014.
George Afedzi Hughes's recent work uses art as a tool for cultural provocation by challenging contemporary systems of order and engaging notions of violence, including the consequences of misused power. He utilizes creative processes that reactivate imagery through a variety of media in which elements from diverse sources such as war machinery, military uniforms with epaulettes, automobiles, colonial / historical references are charged with meaning.