Galleries - November 2010

13. GALLERIES NOVEMBER 10 unlimited edition from Fishbone’s gallery in London, as well as on the street and in the markets of Africa and African communities throughout the world. Many artists from Duchamp onwards have explored how a mass-produced item can be alchemically trans- formed into something of extra worth (in this case deserving a whole room within Tate Britain) by the artist simply representing it in a new context. There aren’t too many, however, that have demon- strated this with Fishbone’s hum- our and lightness oftouch Even without the fringe shows in Regent's Park this October, Frieze and Frieze Week had a new vitality about it which has been lacking in the previous two years. One of the new initiatives came from Christie’s South Kensington who, having committed King Street to their Italian and Contemporary Sales, gave over their entire ground floor to 'Multiplied', a new Contemporary Editions Fair; and very well presented it was with most ofthe major publishers and dealers present. It was their evening auctions that set the pace though, with a Tate Britain is currently screening (until 3 January) a feature-length Ghanaian film titled Elmina (2010), which stars, in a bizarrely incong- ruous twist, the American-born, British-based artist Doug Fish- bone. Scripted and filmed by a leading Ghanaian team with a cast oflocal celebrities, the movie’s only artistic intervention by Fish- bone is the insertion ofhimself into an otherwise completely African production. This simple gesture raises uncomfortable ech- oes ofcolonialism (why has this white Westerner bulldozed his way into an African film?) part- icularly since the port ofElmina was for centuries used by the Portuguese and Dutch to traffic slaves out ofAfrica. Then again, this could be viewed as some form of post-racism utopia, albeit one in which jealousy, betrayal and murder are all very much alive – as the plot thickens and we watch the artist play an average local man fighting political corru- ption and Asian oil developers, whilst also searching for his missing wife, issues of colour begin rapidly dissolving before our eyes. The collision between the worlds ofAfrican cinema and Western conceptual art in Elmina is extended to the distribution strategy that Fishbone has adopted. Coeval with its exhibition in Tate Britain, the film can be purchased as an inexpensive world record price for Marino Marini’s ‘Cavaliere’ bronze of 1951, selling for £4.6 million and an Italian Sale total of£18.6 million; followed by their Contem- porary Sale which achieved £20 million from 44 lots. A number of lots donated by artists including Ron Arad, Paula Rego, Bridget Riley and David Hockney were sold to benefit the Royal College ofArt and the charity Women for Women. Sotheby’s Italian Sale was remarkably similar in total to their rival but the real attraction in their Contemporary Sale was a very mixed assortment ofworks by major artists from the collection of Jerry Hall. Included were paintings by Andy Warhol, ‘Dollar Sign’ which sold for over £200,000; Lucian Freud’s ‘Eight Months Gone’ selling for £500,000 and Auerbach’s ‘Head ofHelen Gill- espie’ which achieved over £1 million. The collection, estimated at £1.5 million, totalled a stunning £2.4 million. Charity note: the sale proceeds ofRobert Devereux’s entire coll- ection ofPost War British Art will be donated to his African Arts Trust when sold by Sotheby’s on 3 & 4 November at Bond Street. Don’t miss it. A UCTIONBUZZ William Jackson W illiam Marshall ‘Yunomi with Grey Slip, hakeme and copper splashes’, Porthmeor Beach, St Ives (hakeme is a Korean word referring to the ‘brushed marks’). Doug Fishbone, ‘Elmina, 2010’ production still, ©Tierry Ball & Rokey, London GHANA CHAMELEON P ryle Behrman