Kenyon College
 

House

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House.1992-1993.
Edition AP2 of 5, 2 APs.
Three gelatin silver prints and one screen print text panel.
60¾ x 40½ x 1½ installed.
© Carrie Mae Weems.
Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

 

Two photographic portraits of slave cabins from the Boone Hall Plantation flank a central depiction of the plantation smokehouse originally constructed by slaves over 250 years ago. Below, a text panel in the form of a house, details a series of directions and cultural believes warding off hags, witches, and evil spirits. 

Weems’ visual and textual engagement with notions of place connect the Sea Islands to West African traditions and beliefs. The ‘rules’ of the house are designed to ensure protection and good luck. Traditions such as pasting newspapers to the walls of one’s house are derived from West African practices. It is believed that dubious spirits must read every word before they are able to inflict harm. 

Molly Donovan ‘16

Gund Gallery Associate

 
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