Performance: Doug Fishbone
1 February 2019
As part of 2019's Master Class, Doug Fishbone performs Luft Gesheft, his first major new live work in several years, and his longest performance piece to date. Looking at everything from Pablo Escobar's hippopotamuses, Polynesians taking vacations in Hull, to Richard Nixon and the Gold Standard, the piece is a comic slide-show lecture illustrated with hundreds of images downloaded from the internet. Fishbone has developed an innovative form of story-telling that sits at the crossroads between high and low art, leading one critic to describe him as a 'stand-up conceptual artist'. The work presents a form of visual rhetoric that uses strategies of advertising and propaganda to explore the often dubious relationship between image and text, and some of the more problematic aspects of contemporary Western life, particularly the absurdities of our financial system and our twisted relationship to the environment.
Fishbone has performed at many major institutions in the UK, including the Hayward Gallery, ICA London, the Southbank Centre, Hauser and Wirth Somerset and the Royal Academy.
Doug Fishbone is an American artist living in London. His film and performance work is heavily influenced by the rhythms of stand-up comedy, and examines some of the more problematic aspects of contemporary life in an amusing and disarming way. His 2010 film Elmina, made collaboratively in Ghana, had its world premiere at Tate Britain in 2010 and was nominated for an African Movie Academy Award in Nigeria in 2011. He is currently at work on a follow-up. Fishbone curated Doug Fishbone’s Leisure Land Golf, a bespoke art/crazy golf course featuring some of the UK’s leading artists, at the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015, and in the same year, he collaborated with the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London on a solo project involving switching one of the Gallery’s masterpieces with a replica made in China. In 2018 he was commissioned by the European Media Art Platform, funded by the EU, to create a major public art work in Halle, Germany.