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’ engagement with the notion of place  connects to West Africa traditions and beliefs. The ‘rules’ of the house are designed to insure protection and good luck. Traditions such as adhering newspapers to the walls of one’s house to preoccupy dubious spirits are derived from Western African traditions, such as the practice of wearing a protective sebeh or grigri, an amulet that contains excerpts from the Koran. 

Molly Donovan ‘16
Gund Gallery Associate

House
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